CBA: Cellular energetics of sex-reversal across life in two model lizard systems: from cells to population-level consequences (CBA Ignition Project)

Project: Research

Project Details


Our aims are to apply a multifaceted approach that applies bioenergetic measurements and mechanistic modelling across life history stages in two model systems with different patterns of GSD that can reverse: Bassiana duperreyi [XX (female): XY (male): XX (SRmale)] and Pogona vitticeps [ZW (female): ZZ (male): ZZ (SRfemale)]. We are building off prior research on these two species that have shown that hatchling metabolic consequences vary depending on the phenotype that reverses sex, and energy consequences may differ as individuals grow larger5. However, whole-organism metabolic rate may not correlate well with energy (ATP) production, and this is critical to assumptions inherent in mechanistic niche models. We have assembled a new team with complementary capabilities to allow us to address more detailed questions relating to how mitochondrial bioenergetics can explain the presence and abundance of sex-reversal in nature. Specifically, we will test the following questions:

1) Are whole-organism respiration rates reflective of energy production?
2) How do energy-derived traits (bioenergetics and whole organismal respiration) vary across life stages for sex reversed and concordant animals?
3) Do any energetic differences impact fitness measures in sex-reversed vs concordant adults?
4) Using a mechanistic niche framework, can differences in cellular bioenergetics explain the incidence and abundance of sex-reversal in either species?
Effective start/end date31/12/2331/12/24


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