Variation in larval gene expression in a marine invertebrate: implications for population divergence via differential settlement response (2005–2007)

The capacity of an organism to disperse colonise and reproduce directly affects population divergence and evolution. In marine invertebrates dispersal is usually via the larval stage so larval settlement is a phenotypic focal point for natural selection. Here I integrate larval developmental biology experimental ecology and population genetics to assay the natural variation in expression of genes involved in settlement in the gastropod Haliotis asinina. This will allow me to identify mechanisms underlying the variable responses of larvae to settlement cues and the evolutionary potential for population divergence that may arise from variation in this fundamental life history trait in the ocean
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council