Project title: Time-related gene expression profiles of HSP70 in corals after exposure to a temperature shock.
Project funding: Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS)
Supervisors: Dr Ted Henry, Dr Sebastian Hennige and Prof Murray Roberts
The increase in sea surface temperature, due to the current climate change, is likely to impact a range of aquatic organisms, including corals. These have heat shock proteins, which upregulation can be triggered by physiological and environmental stressors, such as increased temperature.
Limited number studies have been done about the RNA extraction and gene expression profiles of HSP70 in corals. Since the collection of cold-water corals is particularly difficult and costly, the method is likely to be developed on the species Stylophora pistillata, a warm water Scleractinian coral, easy to find and with some data available.
My thesis will focus on few objectives including the following: 1) develop an SOP for RNA extraction from coral tissue; 2) evaluate the effects of increased temperature on the HSP70 gene expression response.