NIBB-Academia Sinica International Webinar of Aquatic Model Organisms for Basic Biology to Human Disease Models

Speaker: Dr. Yung-Che Tseng

Institute: Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Talk title: Physiological responses of tolerant organisms in an acidic ocean: convergent traits in medaka and squid


Atmospheric CO2 levels are rising dramatically since industrialization, changing seawater chemistry and causing a drop in ocean pH. This phenomenon has been termed as “ocean acidification (OA)”. OA has been recognized as an emerging abiotic stressor, potentially affecting ecosystems’ biodiversity, concordance and functions. Studies regarding the effects of acidification on marine organisms have been conducted in several species. Among all aquatic taxa some athletic species, such as teleosts and cephalopods, were regarded can tolerate acidic concentrations over long exposure times.

Recent studies' significant achievement is to utilize Indian medaka (Oryzias melastigma) and bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) to characterize the convergent transepithelial acid-base regulating machinery of the “tolerant” groups in response to acidic perturbations. On the organismic level we observed differentially growth retardations and metabolic depressions that occurred under acidic seawater. A convergent behavioral appearance as well as vision sensitivity were also characterized in those transgenerational CO2-exposed individuals. Such a comparative approach will provide important insights regarding the unifying evolutionary principles of physiological plasticity in marine taxa that enable them to cope with the future ocean.