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Genetic Key to Salt Tolerance Discovered in Tilapia

Most fish live either in freshwater or saltwater, but others, including tilapia, have the remarkable ability to physiologically adjust to varying salinity levels — a trait that may be critically important as climate change begins to alter the salinity of ocean and coastal waters as well as the water in desert lakes and creeks.

To better understand such environmental flexibility, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have now identified short DNA segments in tilapia that influence the expression of the genes that regulate the fish’s internal body chemistry in response to salinity stress.

Additionally, the researchers developed an assay to identify similar regulatory DNA segments in the genomes of other fish species.

Luna sin estrellas/Flickr

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