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  • Genetic variation on a spatial scale was assessed, using both DNA fingerprinting and sequencing-based approaches, in the Antarctic endemics Buellia frigida, Carbonia vorticosa and Amandinea petermananii, and in the bipolar species Caloplaca saxicola, Umbilicaria decussata and Cladonia galindezii. PCR-based (Polymerase Chain Reaction) molecular biology techniques, were used as they are ideal for working with lichens because little starting material is required. See Fabian et al. 2007 for further information on analyses and results.

  • The majority of Antarctic lichens produce sexual organs, and in many species sexual ascospores appear to be the only reproductive propagule. However, it is unknown whether sexual reproduction involves selfing (homothallism) or outcrossing (heterothallism). To investigate this issue we have established axenic cultures of sexual progeny in order to generate DNA fingerprints and thereby determine the breeding system.

  • The fieldwork involved collection of fertile lichens from a range of sites across the Antarctic Peninsula and isolation of the lichen-forming fungi into pure culture in a laboratory at Rothera. Approximately 5,600 monospore cultures were isolated, including B frigida. Approximately 400 thalli of Usnea species, and 3 O. frigida thalli have also been collected for whole thallus analysis. Logarithmic sampling transects of B frigida were conducted at Rothera (2 transects) and on Anchorage Island (one transect) to examine the genetic variation and geographic variation. All thalli of B frigida collected from the transects were successfully used to generate viable spores from four individual apothecia from each thallus. 16 spores were subcultured and maintained from each apothecium.

  • DNA sequencing data from octopus samples collected in the Southern Ocean. A small tissue sample was taken from the mantle of each octopus and placed immediately in 70 - 80 % ethanol for preservation, in preparation for DNA extraction.

  • Genetic profiling data relating to studies on Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, that document the sequence of expression of genes over the moult cycle and the spatial-temporal expression of clock genes. This work was carried out to examine rhythmic behaviour patterns in this species - namely diel vertical migration and the moult cycle - and the functioning of the genes that underlie these behaviours. Circadian entrainment experiments were carried out twice during the Discovery 2010 summer cruise (cruise no JR177) using krill caught in nets at latitudes of 60S and 52S. Krill samples from each net were processed and preserved for subequent analysis using molecular biology technique to isolate canonical clock genes.