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Anton Dohrn National Zoological Station of Naples

Ristoratore and Spagnuolo team, at the Department of Biology and Evolution of marine organisms of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn Napoli, participates in the DeuteroNoise project with the aim of exploring the genetic response of different developmental stages of the ascidian Ciona robusta to noise contamination in the sea. The team has indeed a fond expertise in genetic, genomic and ecotoxicological studies on Ciona experimental model, one of the marine invertebrate deuterostomes included in DeuteroNoise.

Within the project Ristoratore is responsible for coordinating all the tasks related to the validation of the diagnostic prediction tool “noisesome” in on-field animals (WP5).

More in detail we will collaborate with the Milano Bicocca acoustic team to reproduce the maritime noise in laboratory tanks, in order to explore its possible effect on embryogenesis, metamorphosis and early juvenile stages at the morphological level. In collaboration with the University of Insubria group, we will inspect also the larval behavior, by using optical methods for the collective tracking-free characterization of swimming patterns.

These studies will be complemented by differential transcriptomic analyses aimed at identifying genes that are able to respond to acoustic stress. The same experiments will be performed in different animal species (in different labs), and a comparative analysis will be performed to detect shared pathways affected by noise in different species. To this end the team will actively work in collaboration with the partners involved in the project in order to identity a so called “noisesome” (set of genes that respond to noise) that will be verified on animals sampled in noise polluted vs non polluted sites of the five basins included in the project. We hope that our data will allow making predictions regarding long-term effects of noise on focus populations and to draw up policy for noise mitigation strategies.