One protein is key for the survival of barnacles through environmental changes, researchers report.
Brown University researchers confirmed that a central metabolic protein Mpi and the gene encoding the protein are what help the small crustaceans survive extreme environmental changes.
Different versions of the Mpi enzyme are present at different levels, depending on where the barnacles have settled in the rocky shoreline. One form performs well under high stress, such as a hot day at low tide; the other form does better under low stress.
This allows barnacles to survive and prosper in fluctuating extremes and has prepared them for success in an ever-changing environment.
Funding for the work came from the National Science Foundation.
Source: National Science Foundation