27.5 Wednesday, Jan. 4 Physiological ecology of zooplankton: differential expression in Calanus finmarchicus LENZ, P.H.*; UNAL, E.; HASSETT, R.P.; SMITH, C.M.; BATTA LONA, P.; BUCKLIN, A.; CHRISTIE, A.E.; TOWLE, D.W.; University of Hawaii at Manoa; University of Connecticut; Ohio University; Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory; University of Connecticut; University of Connecticut; University of Hawaii at Manoa; Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory firstname.lastname@example.org
Life histories in temperate habitats are highly cyclical, and include changes in physiology in response to seasonal or other environmental cues. With documented changes in global distribution of pelagic organisms, it has become important to understand their physiology and ability to adapt to environmental change. Here, we report on the development and application of molecular tools to investigate the physiological ecology of Calanus finmarchicus, a highly abundant North Atlantic calanoid copepod. Publicly available ESTs for C. finmarchicus were clustered into contigs and annotated using Blast2GO software. From these contigs, 1000 transcripts representing a range of biological processes were selected for inclusion in a species-specific microarray. Comparisons were made between pre-adult individuals collected during early summer (June) and fall (October) from the Gulf of Maine. Comparisons focused on determining physiological differences between morphotypes (lipid-rich vs. lipid-poor), season (June vs. October) and depth (< 100 m vs. > 100 m depth). The largest expression differences were observed between individuals from the shallow vs. deep collection during October. A one-week experimental incubations at high (5000 algal cells ml-1) and low (500 algal cells ml-1) yielded moderate changes in expression (maximum 2-fold differences). These results suggest that expression studies could be a useful tool for studies on the physiological ecology of marine zooplankton. Further studies will be needed to interpret expression results within the context of organism-environment interactions.