California Abalone Climate Change and Conservation Consortium

Principal Investigators:

UC Davis: Andrew Whitehead, Eric Sanford, Laura Rogers-Bennett, Brian Gaylord, Tessa Hill

Iowa State University: Andrew Severin

UC Santa Cruz: Beth Shapiro, Pete Raimondi


Doug Bush (The Cultured Abalone Farm)

Resource Development

We are developing genomics resources for multiple abalone species that are native to coastal California. We are developing red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) as a model organism for studying the impacts of climate change, in particular ocean acidification. Andrew Severin’s group is sequencing, assembling, and annotating a high quality reference genome for red abalone. His group is also preparing lower coverage assemblies for pinto, pink, green, black, and white abalone. Andrew Whitehead’s group is preparing a high quality reference transcriptome, from multiple adult tissues and developmental stages, for red abalone. Severin and Whitehead are also planning a genetic map to order red abalone sequence scaffolds into chromosomes. Whitehead’s group is also planning population genomics surveys of red abalone from across their geographic range. Beth Shapiro and Pete Raimondi’s groups are developing genomics tools for black abalone that may inform management, including assembling a high quality reference genome and performing population genomics surveys.

Research Questions

            How does ocean acidification affect growth and development? How do variations in diet affect sensitivity to the developmental and reproductive impacts of ocean acidification? Is there genetic variation within and between populations that could contribute variable sensitivity to the impacts of ocean acidification? Is there genetic structure across the species range that could inform species management? We integrate the tools and approaches of comparative physiology, developmental biology, comparative transcriptomics, and population genomics, in both field surveys and manipulative experiments, to discover answers to these questions.