Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Polly Squires, Utah State University

Class Year: 

Project Title: 

Heat Shock Expression in Zostera marina (Eelgrass) at Different Water Temperatures

Heat shock protein expression was studied in eelgrass (Zostera marina) growing at temperatures of 18°, 30°, and 35°C. Fv/Fm measurements were taken concurrently on random leafs from each temperature during the study. Fv/Fm data suggested that plants grown at 18°C were not stressed whereas after two days in 30°C showed reduced Fv/Fm measurements. Plants could not survive water temperature of 35°C and died within 24 hours of growth. Heat shock proteins seen in Z. marina during stress temperatures included: HSP 60, 90, and some indication of 70 KDa and lower molecular weight small HSP 0.2. Western blots examined from day two of 30°C temperature treatment showed increased amounts of HSP 90 and 60 in primary leaves, whereas there was only an increase in HSP 90 in the secondary leaves. Other HSPs were expressed but not carefully examined. This study suggests that HSPs may be a good indicator of stress in Z. marina experiencing thermal stress in natural populations over a small time period.