Start date:
December 2012
End date:
January 2013
Marble Point
Principle Investigator:
Dr Craig Millar
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
We aim to identify the molecular basis by which Adélie penguins have responded to a ~10°C increase in temperature since the last glacial maximum. We will sequence the genomes of a number of ancient Adélie penguins from the late Pleistocene. The hypothesis is that a series of molecular based physiological changes have enabled modern Adélie penguins to cope with warmer temperatures, in comparison to individuals that lived 18,000+ years ago. From the ancient genome data and using the modern genome as a reference, we can identify changes in the ~20,000 avian genes. Hence, we can identify which of these changes are likely to represent the molecular basis of adaptation to climate change.