Using barnacles to explore the link between genetic and phenotypic variation in a highly heterogeneous environment

Description

Abstract:
We examined genetic and phenotypic variation of the northern acorn barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides, across rocky intertidal habitats in order to assess the strength of natural selection in a heterogeneous environment. Previous work on the nuclear genome of S. balanoides has revealed a signature of selection along the tidal gradient. I analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of S. balanoides individuals living in four differentially-stressed microhabitats from the Damariscotta River in Maine. My results show no evidence of selection in the mitochondrial genome. Further work will involve characterizing the operculum of the barnacle to test for functionally significant phenotypic differences between high-tide and low-tide barnacles. This phenotypic data will be combined with the genetic dataset to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS).

Citation

Ferranti, David, Nunez, Joaquin, and Rand, David, "Using barnacles to explore the link between genetic and phenotypic variation in a highly heterogeneous environment" (2018). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.26300/x0a2-he75

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