Please join us on at 4pm on Monday October 29th for a Rhubarb talk by Cathy Cole:
Adaptations to a heavy metal lifestyle: the molecular detoxification strategies of Mytilus edulis, and implications for life in extreme environments.
Hydrothermal vents support life in extreme abundance, yet fluids emanating from these vents are highly enriched in many metals compared with seawater. Animals are exposed to metal concentrations on the order of a thousand times higher than in oceanic waters and must have evolved specialised mechanisms of detoxification. To understand faunal colonisation of these metalliferous environments, it is important to investigate pre-adaptations for detoxification in their non-vent relatives. The common blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, is the closest shallow-water taxonomic relative of the deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussel subfamily, the Bathymodiolinae. Using biochemical techniques learnt this summer during a GSNOCS exchange placement to University College Cork, Ireland, I investigated the proteomic response of M. edulis to experimental metal enrichment.
I will present my results from this study, which illustrate how metal-induced oxidative stress influences protein expression and redox modifications to key functional groups in both M. edulis and their vent-mussel relatives, Bathymodiolus sp. I will discuss the concept of pre-adaption to metal enrichment in Mytilus edulis and the significance of metals as a barrier to vent colonisation.
Venue: The PG lounge, 4.00 pm