Genomic characterization of the evolutionary potential of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis facing ocean acidification.

Runcie, Daniel E., Dorey, Narimane, Garfield, David A., Stumpp, Meike, Dupont, Sam and Wray, Gregory A (2016) Genomic characterization of the evolutionary potential of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis facing ocean acidification. Open Access Genome Biology and Evolution, 8 (12). pp. 3672-3684. DOI 10.1093/gbe/evw272.

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Ocean acidification (OA) is increasing due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions and poses a threat to marine species and communities worldwide. To better project the effects of acidification on organisms’ health and persistence, an understanding is needed of the 1) mechanisms underlying developmental and physiological tolerance and 2) potential populations have for rapid evolutionary adaptation. This is especially challenging in nonmodel species where targeted assays of metabolism and stress physiology may not be available or economical for large-scale assessments of genetic constraints. We used mRNA sequencing and a quantitative genetics breeding design to study mechanisms underlying genetic variability and tolerance to decreased seawater pH (-0.4 pH units) in larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. We used a gene ontology-based approach to integrate expression profiles into indirect measures of cellular and biochemical traits underlying variation in larval performance (i.e., growth rates). Molecular responses to OA were complex, involving changes to several functions such as growth rates, cell division, metabolism, and immune activities. Surprisingly, the magnitude of pH effects on molecular traits tended to be small relative to variation attributable to segregating functional genetic variation in this species. We discuss how the application of transcriptomics and quantitative genetics approaches across diverse species can enrich our understanding of the biological impacts of climate change.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Data deposition: All RNAseq reads generated for the manuscript have been deposited at the NCBI Sequence Read Archive under BioProject: PRJNA301890 and biosamples: SAMN04260159 - SAMN04260200. All computational scripts will be posted in Dryad after the manuscript is accepted. All computational scripts and processed data have been deposited at with DOI: doi:10.5061/dryad.1f6t8
Keywords: System genetics, climate change, genetic variation, plasticity, RNAseq, gene set variation analysis
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1093/gbe/evw272
ISSN: 1759-6653
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 12:07
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:11

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