Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Melissa Pespeni

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Zoology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Presentation Title

Carbonic anhydrase: Genetic variation and resiliency in acidifying oceans

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme that plays a role in pH regulation and the transport of CO2, protons, and bicarbonate throughout all kingdoms of life. Ocean acidification from increased CO2 in the atmosphere changes not only the pH of the environment, but also the availability of bicarbonate for skeleton formation in marine calcifiers such as sea urchins - making carbonic anhydrase a gene of interest in these changing conditions. This project attempts to describe the genetic variation within the carbonic anhydrase gene of the purple sea urchin S. purpuratus across a pool of larvae under both ambient conditions and the selective pressure of increased CO2 within the environment. The variation within the carbonic anhydrase gene is then translated to its amino acid sequences, resulting in possible structural and functional changes in the protein phenotype. The genetic variants will be used to model proteins with the different amino acid sequences to evaluate the importance of genetic variation on the protein's function and stability. This project will help characterize the role of genetic variation in phenotypic resiliency under increasing acidified conditions in the ocean.

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Carbonic anhydrase: Genetic variation and resiliency in acidifying oceans

Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme that plays a role in pH regulation and the transport of CO2, protons, and bicarbonate throughout all kingdoms of life. Ocean acidification from increased CO2 in the atmosphere changes not only the pH of the environment, but also the availability of bicarbonate for skeleton formation in marine calcifiers such as sea urchins - making carbonic anhydrase a gene of interest in these changing conditions. This project attempts to describe the genetic variation within the carbonic anhydrase gene of the purple sea urchin S. purpuratus across a pool of larvae under both ambient conditions and the selective pressure of increased CO2 within the environment. The variation within the carbonic anhydrase gene is then translated to its amino acid sequences, resulting in possible structural and functional changes in the protein phenotype. The genetic variants will be used to model proteins with the different amino acid sequences to evaluate the importance of genetic variation on the protein's function and stability. This project will help characterize the role of genetic variation in phenotypic resiliency under increasing acidified conditions in the ocean.