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Ecophysiological & Evolutionary Proteomics


We study the Evolution and Physiological Mechanisms of Adaptations to Osmotic Stress (= Environmental Salinity Change) and other Environmental Stress in Fishes. To support these studies we develop and utilize proteomics approaches for in-depth investigation of environmental effects on the molecular phenotype (= the Proteome). Using a two-tiered comparative approach we obtain mechanistic insight into high environmental stress tolerance of fish that are capable to withstand large salinity fluctuations and extreme habitat salinity. The first tier of analyses consists of investigating physiological mechanisms of molecular phenotypic plasticity in individual euryhaline fish exposed to salinity stress compared to unstressed control fish. The second tier of analyses targets mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation by comparing genetically distinct fish populations that differ in their ability to withstand osmotic stress but belong to the same species or genus. In addition to taking advantage of variation in natural populations, we manipulate stress responses using reverse genetics approaches to test molecular cause-effect relationships and obtain insight into the logic of information flow through osmosensory signaling networks. The following questions embody the focus of our research efforts:
  1. How did euryhalinity (= high salinity tolerance) evolve in fishes and does this physiological trait always have the same mechanistic basis?
  2. What elements of the proteome are necessary and sufficient for high osmotolerance?
  3. Which mechanisms of proteome regulation promote salinity acclimation and high osmotolerance in changing environments such as the marine intertidal zone, estuaries, or desert salt lakes?
  4. How does environmental pollution and the resulting additive toxicant stress alter the response to salinity stress?

Meyer Hall - UC Davis
Our Home: Meyer Hall
UC Davis Campus

Heinrich Heine, 1797-1856
(aus: Deutschland ein Wintermärchen)
Santa Rosa
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