Poster Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

Transcriptomic Responses to Environmental Changes in Jellyfish (#463)

Clarissa G. Molinari 1 2 3 , Carmel McDougall 1 2 3 , Kylie A. Pitt 1 2 3
  1. Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  2. School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia
  3. Coastal and Marine Research Centre, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Cnidarian jellyfish are natural components of most ocean ecosystems, but some species appear to thrive in coastal waters subject to anthropogenic disturbance. Species of the genus Aurelia Lamarck, 1816, known as the moon jellyfish, for example, are considered the most common jellyfish worldwide. The increase of these species’ populations has been attributed to human activities, but mechanisms that enable these species to thrive in perturbed environments are not understood. Our project focuses on studying the transcriptomic response of medusozoans when exposed to environmental changes capable of affecting the animal’s metabolism (including variations in temperature, pH and oxygen levels). Various medusozoans cultured at the Griffith Sea Jellies Research Laboratory will be exposed to simulated environmental stressors and transcriptomic data will be generated. The analysis of responses will reveal the molecular pathways impacted by environmental disturbances on jellyfish species. Combining the analysis of these responses with phylogenetic analyses within the group will reveal whether particular species have evolved greater tolerance to stress.