• Chrysomelidae;
  • natural selection;
  • phosphoglucose isomerase;
  • temperature adaptation


  • 1
    Sierra Nevada populations of the beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis experience extreme high and low temperatures during summer, which pose special challenges to larvae of limited mobility. In these populations, allele frequency variation at the glycolytic enzyme locus phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) correlates with differences in temperature between river drainages. PGI allozymes differ in functional properties, and thermal tolerance of adults and larvae depends on PGI genotype.
  • 2
    We measured effects of temperature on larval development rate and survival after reciprocal transplantation of populations between drainages. Effects of temperature on growth rate and activity were determined after laboratory acclimation of larvae from Bishop Creek (BC), where PGI alleles 1 and 4 occur in similar frequency. Hsp70 expression levels were measured for free-living larvae of known body temperature, and for laboratory-acclimated BC larvae.
  • 3
    Larval mortality was greatest in the coldest drainage and was correlated with minimum night-time air temperature. The frequency of PGI allele 1 declined for BC larvae transplanted to the warmest drainage. Development rate of BC larvae in nature was lowest for experimental groups where PGI-1 allele frequency was highest. Larval growth and activity varied with acclimation temperature and PGI genotype in the laboratory. Hsp70 expression levels in nature were higher for larvae collected later in the day, and varied consistently among PGI genotypes in nature and in the laboratory.
  • 4
    These results suggest that daytime temperatures routinely experienced by larvae cause elevated Hsp70 expression levels indicative of physiological stress. Exposure to subzero night-time temperatures appears to cause larval mortality. Up-regulation of Hsp70 may protect larvae from heat and cold stress. Variation in Hsp70 expression among PGI genotypes may result in differential mortality and developmental rates in nature.