Browman Howard I.

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Howard I.

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  • Article
    Gene expression and epigenetic responses of the marine Cladoceran, Evadne nordmanni, and the copepod, Acartia clausi, to elevated CO2
    (Wiley Open Access, 2021-11-23) Aluru, Neelakanteswar ; Fields, David M. ; Shema, Steven ; Skiftesvik, Anne Berit ; Browman, Howard I.
    Characterizing the capacity of marine organisms to adapt to climate change related drivers (e.g., pCO2 and temperature), and the possible rate of this adaptation, is required to assess their resilience (or lack thereof) to these drivers. Several studies have hypothesized that epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and noncoding RNAs, act as drivers of adaptation in marine organisms, especially corals. However, this hypothesis has not been tested in zooplankton, a keystone organism in marine food webs. The objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that acute ocean acidification (OA) exposure alters DNA methylation in two zooplanktonic species—copepods (Acartia clausii) and cladocerans (Evadne nordmanii). We exposed these two species to near-future OA conditions (400 and 900 ppm pCO2) for 24 h and assessed transcriptional and DNA methylation patterns using RNA sequencing and Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS). OA exposure caused differential expression of genes associated with energy metabolism, cytoskeletal and extracellular matrix functions, hypoxia and one-carbon metabolism. Similarly, OA exposure also caused altered DNA methylation patterns in both species but the effect of these changes on gene expression and physiological effects remains to be determined. The results from this study form the basis for studies investigating the potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in OA induced phenotypic plasticity and/or adaptive responses in zooplanktonic organisms.