Genomic Determinants of Coral Heat Tolerance Across Latitudes

Groves B. Dixon, Sarah W. Davies, Galina A. Aglyamova, Eli Meyer, Line K. Bay, Mikhail V. Matz
Published June 26 2015 in Science

Full Study


“As global warming continues, reef-building corals could avoid local population declines through “genetic rescue” involving exchange of heat-tolerant genotypes across latitudes, but only if latitudinal variation in thermal tolerance is heritable. Here, we show an up–to–10-fold increase in odds of survival of coral larvae under heat stress when their parents come from a warmer lower-latitude location. Elevated thermal tolerance was associated with heritable differences in expression of oxidative, extracellular, transport, and mitochondrial functions that indicated a lack of prior stress. Moreover, two genomic regions strongly responded to selection for thermal tolerance in interlatitudinal crosses. These results demonstrate that variation in coral thermal tolerance across latitudes has a strong genetic basis and could serve as raw material for natural selection.”

Continue reading the full study published in Science HERE

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Published on: June 27, 2015

Filled Under: Climate, Reports & Studies, Reposted Articles

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