[Coral-List] Genomic determinants of coral heat tolerance across latitudes

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 20:20:48 EDT 2015

In a warming world, existing variation in heat tolerance could help corals
beat the heat.

Dixon et al,  Science 26 June 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6242 pp. 1460-1462

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


Not open-access.

Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

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website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope

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