Latitudinal Temperature Gradients And The Molecular Control Of Muscle Function In Grammarid Amphipods

Updated 2003-06-23

The project aims to examine the effects of latitudinal temperature change on muscle function in amphipod crustaceans. As temperature has a profound effect on the ability of muscles to contract and produce force/power for movement, we are interested to see if there is any compensation for the effects of temperature between amphipod populations living at different latitudes. To this end we are studying Gammarid amphipod species due to their wide geographical distribution along the coast of North West Europe from temperate conditions in the Northern Atlantic (at approx 15°C in the summer) to polar conditions in the Arctic (at -1°C in the summer). In particular we are interested in the effects of temperature gradients on heavy chain myosin genes, as these genes regulate critical aspects of muscle contraction and can be influenced by changes in environmental temperature by switching from one gene variant to another. During our visit to Ny-Ålesund we hope to collect at least 3 different species of gammarid amphipod, including Gammarus locusta, G. zaddachi, and G. oceanicus to represent populations from the northerly limit of their latitudinal range. The muscle tissue will then be examined for sequence variations in specific active regions of the myosin genes that are known to influence the production of force. Sequence variation will be compared to the data collected from populations in the UK and in Tromso, Norway (70N). Ultimately the results will be correlated to the genetic diversity of the amphipod populations to assess the evolution of myosin genes in animals with a wide distribution pattern and inherent adaptability to temperature change.

Time frame

Project time span
2002 - 2002
Data collection
not specified
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Dr Nia Whiteley
School Of Biological Sciences, University Of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK.
(44) (0)1248 388080
(44) (0)1248 371644

Parameters and Media

Not specified


Regions studied
NERC Arctic Research Station (Harland House)

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
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