A recent research published in the Science journal has found that evolution is involved in rescuing some urban fish from a highly toxic, human-altered environment.

The study led by the University of California, Davis, has found that the Atlantic killifish which live in four polluted East Coast estuaries have adapted to a highly polluted environment which would normally kill them. This fish is an environmental indicator and an important food for other species, though it has no commercial importance.

This fish is remarkably resilient in comparison to many other species for which environmental changes are outpacing their evolution rate. It is 8,000 times more resistant to environmental pollution than its counterparts.

The researchers found that this outstanding feature of this fish is owed to it’s extremely high-levels of genetic variation. They genome sequenced about 400 Atlantic killifish from both polluted and non-polluted areas. They found that their genetic variation is surpassingly higher than any other vertebrate measured so far, including humans.

Future work could be directed to figure out those genes which confer tolerance of certain chemicals. This would widen our understanding of the role of genetic differences on sensitivity differences to environmental chemicals. 

Content Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208143334.htm

Image Source: http://www.mediasanctuary.org/category/image-galleries/underground-gallery-shows/ecological-interventions

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