Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Mussels Inherit Ocean Acidification Resilience from Parents

Strong mussels inherit ocean acidification resilience from parents

Source: Cawthron Institute

Cawthron scientists have revealed preliminary findings from their Greenshell Mussel ocean acidification breeding trials. Dr Norman Ragg advised their trials indicate certain mussel families are more likely than others to survive predicted ocean acidity changes.

"We’ve been conducting ambitious breeding trials to determine how the iconic Greenshell Mussel species will respond to ocean acidification. I’m pleased to report these trials have been remarkably successful.

"Preliminary analysis of our trial data suggests different families have varying resilience to ocean acidification during the fragile early life stages. This means there’s genetic potential within the New Zealand mussel populations to adapt to rapid acidity changes," said Dr Ragg.

Ocean acidification is a worldwide climate change phenomenon. As the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the acidity of seawater around the world is slowly increasing.

Through their trials, Dr Ragg and his team have discovered this pH change makes it difficult for young mussels to grow their hard shells, meaning some babies will not survive the vulnerable first 48 hours of life. However, the breeding trials show some offspring are blessed with a stronger innate resilience, inherited from their parents.

Dr Ragg explained that the research team have also been studying whether the experiences of adult mussels are reflected in the resilience of their babies; interestingly there does appear to be a correlation.

In this study, adults were kept in seawater of varying relative acidity. After months in this environment, scientists induced spawning and monitored the offspring’s growth and survival.

"Results from the parent acidification trials look positive. They suggest adult mussels who experienced relatively acidic seawater have more tolerant offspring than adults without this exposure.

"This is a major discovery and supports Lamarck’s Theory of Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics," said Dr Ragg.

This research is facilitated by industry partnership and Cawthron’s comprehensive Greenshell Mussel breeding programme. Through this programme, scientists could access excellent genetic coverage, studying Greenshell Mussel families from populations sourced from across New Zealand. These families were then carefully reared and harvested by Sanford, providing ideal research material.

These trials are part of the wider Coastal acidification - rate, impacts and management (CARIM) project, which aims to develop ocean acidification knowledge to enhance the protection and management of New Zealand coastal ecosystems.
CARIM is a NIWA-led collaboration, which includes partners Cawthron, University of Auckland, and University of Otago. It’s a four year project, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>

ALSO:


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

Real Estate: House Price Growth Rates In Hawke’s Bay Skyrocket Ahead Of Rest Of New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay is leading the property ‘pack’ proving a post lockdown land of milk and money, continuing to outstrip the rest of the country with the highest annual growth rate in house price values. But experts warn an overheated market is fast ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>