Climate Adaptation

How to adapt to climate change

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Science  07 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6248, pp. 599-600
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6248.599-f

In the spiny chromis damselfish, genes involved in metabolism, immunity, and development are up-regulated in cross-generational adaptation to warming

PHOTO: © FRANZ SCHUBIGER, AGROSCOPE

Climate change is imposing increases in temperature on a wide variety of species. Such warming conditions may be particularly challenging for aquatic animals, for which warming waters bring not only temperature increases but also associated oxygen limitations. Some species have displayed an ability to adapt to warming conditions across generations. Veilleux et al. looked at the transcriptome of parents and offspring in a Pacific damselfish, Acanthrochromis polyacanthus, and found three suites of genes whose expression was altered during transgenerational exposure to increased temperatures. These included genes involved in metabolism, immune response, and tissue development. Notably, heat-shock gene expression did not change, suggesting that these markers of immediate response to increased temperatures may not be involved in longer-term adaptation.

Nat. Clim. Change 10.138/nclimate2724 (2015).

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