Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Show Animals Can Adapt to Increasingly Frequent Cold Snaps

13.04.2015

As fall and spring temperatures rise, animals will increasingly have to deal with rapid "snap freezes."

As worldwide temperatures rise and the earth sees extreme weather conditions in both summer and winter, a team of researchers with the University of Florida and Kansas State University have found that that there is potential for insects - and possibly other animals - to acclimate and rapidly evolve in the face of this current climate change.


UF/IFAS Tyler Jones

As fall and spring temperatures rise, animals will increasingly have to deal with rapid changes from warm conditions to dangerous cold snaps.

“Organisms can deal with these stressful transitions from warm to cold by either acclimating - think about dogs putting on their winter coats - or by populations genetically evolving to deal with new stresses, a phenomenon known as rapid climate adaptation,” said Alison Gerken, a post-doctoral associate with UF’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the lead author of a new study, published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While much of the emphasis regarding climate change is on overall warming, increased frequency of extreme weather events is also a critical concern. As fall and spring temperatures rise, animals will increasingly have to deal with rapid changes from warm conditions to dangerously cold temperatures as weather fronts sweep through. These “snap freeze” events threaten a variety of plants from agricultural crops to landscaping that are damaged and animals like insects, frogs, and even sea turtles that can suffer from cold.

Using fruit flies, Gerken and her team have described the genetic architecture for both long-term acclimation, as would be needed to prepare for the transition from summer to winter, and short-term acclimation, which could occur over a single day with a snap freeze. They have shown that there is substantial genetic variation in nature for both long-term seasonal acclimation and short-term acclimation associated with rapid extreme weather events.

“The ability to respond to longer-term seasonal changes does not impede the ability to respond to rapid changes associated with short-term extreme cold events,” said Daniel Hahn, associate professor of insect physiology with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Department of Entomology and Nematology. “We have identified a series of about 100 candidate genes that could explain the ability of animals to rapidly respond to fluctuating temperatures.”

“Identifying which of these candidate genes actually causes variation in responses to cold snaps will give us the potential to understand whether evolution to climate change can occur in both wild and domesticated animals, allowing us to better predict which species or breeds will be “winners” and “losers” and to better mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change on a wide range of organisms from beneficial pollinators to invasive pests,” said Theodore Morgan an associate professor of evolutionary genetics in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University and senior author of the study.

Gerken, Hahn, and Morgan say identifying the genes involved in acclimation to temperature and the genetic relationship between long-term and short-term acclimation provides us with new tools to predict the impacts of an increased frequency of extreme events as a by-product of anthropogenic climate change on animal and plant populations.

Other researchers include Olivia Eller of Kansas State University.

Their research can be found online at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/03/23/1503456112.full.pdf

Source: Alison R. Gerken, 352-273-7494, agerken@ufl.edu
Daniel Hahn, 352-273-3968, dahahn@ufl.edu

 www.ufl.edu

Kim Moore Wilmoth | newswise

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>