Unraveling cellular and molecular mechanisms of acid stress tolerance and resistance in marine species: new frontiers in the study of adaptation to ocean acidification

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Highlights

  • OA poses a threat to marine life, although some taxa can tolerate low seawater pH.
  • Different responses at cellular and molecular level observed in marine organisms
  • Role of ABC transporter proteins towards acid stress tolerance and resistance
  • Understanding cellular mechanisms of acid stress tolerance to unravel OA impacts

Abstract

Since the industrial revolution, fossil fuel combustion has led to a 30 %-increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration, also increasing the ocean partial CO2 pressure. The consequent lowered surface seawater pH is termed ocean acidification (OA) and severely affects marine life on a global scale. Cellular and molecular responses of marine species to lowered seawater pH have been studied but information on the mechanisms driving the tolerance of adapted species to comparatively low seawater pH is limited. Such information may be obtained from species inhabiting sites with naturally low water pH that have evolved remarkable abilities to tolerate such conditions. This review gathers information on current knowledge about species naturally facing low water pH conditions and on cellular and molecular adaptive mechanisms enabling the species to survive under, and even benefit from, adverse pH conditions. Evidences derived from case studies on naturally acidified systems and on resistance mechanisms will guide predictions on the consequences of future adverse OA scenarios for marine biodiversity.

Simonetti S., Zupo V., Gambi M. C., Luckenbach T. & Corsi I., 2022. Unraveling cellular and molecular mechanisms of acid stress tolerance and resistance in marine species: new frontiers in the study of adaptation to ocean acidification. Marine Pollution Bulletin 185 (Part B): 114365. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114365. Article.


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