My manuscript describing the results of my graduate work at LSU was recently published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology – Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology! In this study, I used a comparative approach to assess how acute hypoosmotic exposure affects levels of polyamines and related amino acids [glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (Gaba)] in the gills of killifish (Fundulus sp.). I found that the two euryhaline species in my study, F. heteroclitus and F. grandis, exhibited an increase in polymaine levels, but showed no change in glutamate or Gaba levels in the gills following freshwater transfer. In contrast, the marine species in my study, F. majalis, showed decreases in the concentrations of polyamines, glutamate, and Gaba in the gills during acute hypoosmotic exposure. Collectively, these results suggest that increasing polyamines levels and maintaining Gaba homeostasis in the gills may enable euryhaline fishes to acclimate to changes in environmental salinity.
A link for the manuscript can be found under the “Publications” page and can also be accessed here.
Image: Kat setting fish traps at one of her field sites: the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory in St. Teresa, Florida.