Scientists have identified for the first time the genes that allow certain species of fish to adapt to the warming of the oceans caused by climate change, the Australian James Cook University said today.
In a statement, the center said that, in a joint project with the Saudi King Abdullah University, researchers analyzed several generations of fish in an experiment with coral in a laboratory in the state of Queensland (northeast Australia).
"Some fish have an exceptional ability to adjust to higher water temperatures within a few generations," said Heather Veilleux of the James Cook University Coral Research Center (Coral CoE).
Using advanced molecular technology, the team of researchers identified 53 genes involved in long-term and multi-generational acclimatization to high temperatures.
Veilleux revealed that the discovery will help to better understand the adaptation process of fish, as well as identify the most vulnerable species and those most tolerant to changes in the environment.
According to the study, the genes and molecules responsible for the production of energy and the responses of the immune system are key to adaptation in an environment with growing temperatures.
In the northeast of Australia is the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world, with countless species and which is threatened due to debris and global warming.