Molecular basis of the stress response of the intertidal sponge Tetilla mutabilis

Abstract: The marine sponge Tetilla mutabilis is very abundant in the intertidal zone of La Cruz estuary at the Gulf of California, near Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This area is characterized by extreme fluctuations in temperature, salinity and UV radiation (depending on the tidal cycle and photoperiod). We propose to lay the ground work for investigating the mechanism of stress tolerance of this sponge by 1. Analysis of the level of environmental stress in the intertidal zone of Estero La Cruz; 2. Analysing its tissue morphology and cell organization during different levels of stress exposure; and 3. Optimization of methods for comparing mRNA and protein populations before, during, and after exposure to stress.