• heat shock protein;
  • expression profile;
  • temperature tolerance;
  • leafminer;
  • geographical distribution


Studies have demonstrated differences in temperature tolerance between two Liriomyza species, L. huidobrensis and L. sativae. To investigate whether the heat shock proteins (Hsps) in the two species have different expression profiles during temperature stress, we cloned hsp90, 70, 60, 40 and 20, and analysed their expression profiles across temperature gradients by real-time quantitative PCR and Western blotting. The results revealed that the number of TATA-box-like elements and A/T-rich insertion/deletions within the 5′ UTRs of the hsps are different in the two species. The temperatures for onset (Ton) or maximal (Tmax) induction of hsp expression in L. huidobrensis were generally 2.5–10 °C lower than those in L. sativae, and the Ton were highly consistent with the temperature limits of the northern boundary of the range of these two leafminer species. These studies confirmed, in terms of gene expression levels, that L. huidobrensis is more cold tolerant than L. sativae, which is more heat tolerant, and suggest that the Ton (or Tmax) of hsps can represent the differences in temperature tolerance of these two leafminer species, and may be used to determine their natural geographical distribution limits.