Meeting Abstract

S1-6  Saturday, Jan. 4 10:30 - 11:00  Revisiting phylogeographic patterns in Antarctica in the age of ‘-omics.’ MAHON, AR*; HALANYCH, KM; Central Michigan University; Auburn University

Antarctic fauna, particularly marine benthic invertebrates living on the continental shelf, are far more diverse than previously realized. Thanks to recent increases in sampling efforts, our understanding of Southern Ocean biodiversity has improved dramatically. In addition to increased sampling efforts around the continent, the application of molecular genetic and genomic tools to understand patterns of biodiversity is allowing us to understand and investigate entirely new patterns and processes from organisms in the Southern Ocean. Historically, studies employing mitochondrial genes or gene fragments (e.g., cytochrome c oxidase subunits I and II, 16S rDNA, cytochrome b) have found numerous unknown yet distinct genetic lineages in several invertebrate taxa isopods, sea spiders, echinoderms, and others. Despite this increased appreciation of diversity from the region, we are still trying to explain the bigger picture phylogeographic patterns around the Antarctic and the factors that produced such patterns. The development and application of new molecular methods on organisms from the region are allowing us to address questions relating to scenarios that may have impacted the current distributions of Antarctic shelf marine fauna using the resultant evolutionary patterns reconstructed from molecular data. These scenarios include a transantarctic seaway, Antarctic circumpolar current admixture, localized refugia, isolation by distance models, and other hypotheses. In this presentation, we will discuss our ongoing work that challenges major hypotheses related to the understanding of diversity in the Antarctic. As found in our previous studies, we expect that knowledge of organismal diversity through the implementation of additional ‘omic studies will have tangential impacts throughout Antarctic biological research efforts.