Differential Peptide Labeling (iTRAQ) in LC–MS/MS Based Proteomics in Daphnia Reveal Mechanisms of an Antipredator Response

Daphnia, an important model organism for studies on ecology and evolution, has become a textbook example for inducible defenses against predators. Inducible defenses are widespread in nature, and the underlying molecular mechanisms for this plasticity in general and in particular in Daphnia are not fully understood. Here, we provide for the first time a combination of established life-history changes (LHC), which are induced by chemical cues of a predator (fish kairomones), in Daphnia with differential peptide labeling (iTRAQ) in LC–MS/MS based proteomics. The aim of the present study is the elucidation of proteins involved in specific antipredator responses in a predator–prey system of ecological relevance by high-throughput proteomics. To obtain a highly specific antifish response of Daphnia, highly purified fish kairomones were applied in the presence or absence of light. We were able to identify a set of functional proteins, which are likely to explain the kairomone-mediated and light-dependent LHC in Daphnia.