DV-18-11 Selection in response to short-term temperature stress in early larval lobster stages

Carolyn Tepolt

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Genetic adaptation may play an important role in the ability of lobsters to adapt to changing environmental conditions in the Gulf of Maine. Earlier research has suggested that lobsters may have evolved genetic variation related to temperature. However, the potential of rapid genomic adaptation to contribute to lobster response and resilience to changing conditions is unknown. Tepolt and colleagues are studying lobster response and resilience to predicted changes in temperature and acidification. This project will complement this work by adding an explicit test of selection on early larval stages to provide an initial estimate of the heritable component of temperature tolerance in lobsters.


Using the Darling Marine Center laboratory, Tepolt will conduct rapid selection experiments on multiple broods of early stage lobster larvae from parents derived from three regions spanning a sharp thermal cline in New England: Rhode Island, southwestern Maine, and northeastern Maine. Samples will be retained for future genetic sequencing. This work is in partnership with Richard Wahle of UMaine and David Fields of Bigelow Laboratory.


Sea Grant funds: $4,463