Optimistic future for sea urchins

When you cast your seed into the open, you’d better be sure that the conditions will be ideal to ensure the success of the next generation. And that approach seems to have served sea urchins perfectly well: that was until now. As global sea temperatures rise and the oceans begin to acidify, the tiny gametes that sea urchins entrust to the waves are under increasing risk. Monique Binet from CSISO, Australia, and an international team of collaborators say, ‘Under near-future scenarios of ocean acidification, the swimming behaviour of marine invertebrate sperm is altered’. Sperm use a pH gradient (from low to high pH) to activate the energy-supplying mitochondria that power the gametes when released into the ocean, so the team decided to test how future climate scenarios might affect the membrane potential of mitochondria that produce ATP, and how individual swimming performance is affected by acidification.(…)

Knight K., 2015. Optimistic future for sea urchins. The Journal of Experimental Biology 218:962. Article.

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