Christian Fritsen PLR Division Of Polar Programs
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
June 1, 2013
May 31, 2016 (Estimated)
Awarded Amount to Date:
H. William Detrich ICEMAN@NEU.EDU (Principal Investigator)
360 HUNTINGTON AVE
ANTARCTIC ORGANISMS & ECOSYST
Program Reference Code(s):
Program Element Code(s):
Since the advent of Antarctic continental glaciation, the opening of the Drake Passage between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula, and the onset of cooling of the Southern Ocean ~40-25 million years ago, evolution of the Antarctic marine biota has been driven by the development of extreme cold temperatures. As circum-Antarctic coastal temperatures declined during this period from ~20°C to the modern ?1.9 to +2.0°C (reached ~8-10 million years ago), the psychrophilic (cold-loving) ectotherms of the Southern Ocean evolved compensatory molecular, cellular, and physiological traits that enabled them to maintain normal metabolic function at cold temperatures. Today, these organisms are threatened by rapid warming of the Southern Ocean over periods measured in centuries (as much as 5°C/100 yr), a timeframe so short that re-adaptation and/or acclimatization to the ?new warm? may not be possible. Thus, the long-term goals of this research project are: 1) to understand the biochemical and physiological capacities of the embryos of Antarctic notothenioid fish to resist or compensate for rapid oceanic warming; and 2) to assess the genetic toolkit available to support the acclimatization and adaptation of Antarctic notothenioid embryos to their warming habitat. The specific aims of this work are: 1) to determine the capacity of the chaperonin complex of notothenioid fishes to assist protein folding at temperatures between ?4 and +20°C; and 2) to evaluate the genetic responses of notothenioid embryos, measured as global differential gene transcription, to temperature challenge, with ?1.9°C as the ?normal? control and +4 and +10°C as high temperature insults.
The physiology of embryonic development of marine stenotherms under future climate change scenarios is an important but understudied problem. This project will provide valuable insights into the capacity of Antarctic fish embryos to acclimatize and adapt to plausible climate change scenarios by examining multiple levels of biological organization, from the biochemical to the organismal. The results should also be broadly applicable to understanding the impact of global warming on marine biota worldwide. The research will also introduce graduate and REU undergraduate students to state-of-the-art biochemical, cellular, and molecular-biological research relevant to ecological and environmental issues of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.
PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH
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Cuellar, J., Yébenes, H., Parker, S. K., Carranza, G., Serna, M., Valpuesta, J. M., Zabala, J. C., & Detrich, H. W., III. "Assisted Protein Folding at Low Temperature: Evolutionary Adaptation of the Antarctic Fish Chaperonin CCT and Its Client Proteins," Biology Open, v.3, 2014, p. 261.
Shin, S. C., Ahn, D. H., Kim, S. J., Pyo, C. W., Lee, H., Kim, M.-K., Lee, J., Lee, J. E., Detrich, H. W., III, Postlethwait, J., Lee, J. H., Lee, S. G., & Park, H.. "The Genome Sequence of the Antarctic Bullhead Notothen Reveals Evolutionary Adaptations to a Cold Environment," Genome Biology, 2014.