Exploring the genetic signatures of climate change resilience in American Samoan corals: transcriptomic profiling of stress resistant and susceptible corals in hot water


Thursday, February 16, 2012
Redfield Auditorium - 12:00 Noon
Dr. Dan Barshis
Postdoctoral Scholar, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University

Dan's work examines the mechanistic basis behind enhanced stress tolerance in a group of reef-building corals that undergo extreme variability in environmental conditions. Multiple field transplantation and controlled acclimation experiments have demonstrated that corals from a section of back reef that has large daily variability in environmental characteristics (temperature, pH, Oxygen saturation and flow dynamics) exhibit increased stress tolerance limits compared to corals from areas with more moderate variability. This work documents the relative contributions of adaptation and acclimatization to the enhanced stress tolerance of back reef corals. Dan will present a short summary of the most significant results from the last ~8 years of research at the American Samoan field site. Additionally, Dan will present his current research that uses high-throughput transcriptome sequencing to investigate the specific genes and gene pathways underlying patterns of coral resilience and adaptation.