• Holothurian;
  • Hsp70;
  • thermal limit;
  • thermotolerance

ABSTRACT:  Thermal limits, induced thermotolerance and the expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) in an echinoderm Apostichopus japonicus were studied. The sublethal and lethal temperatures for the juveniles were 30 and 34°C, respectively; a previous sublethal heat shock exposure (30°C, 2 h) could increase the survival rates of the sea cucumbers when they were exposed to 34°C. This induced thermotolerance could last for at least 2 days. Levels of Hsp70 increased substantially after sublethal heat shock exposure and linearly decreased with time. This result indicated that a close relationship existed between the induction of thermotolerance and the levels of Hsp70 in A. japonicus.