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Transcriptional Profiling of Turtles2019-08-28T15:21:22+00:00


Biodiversity & The Turtle

PerkinElmer Applied Genomics

Transcriptional Profiling of Turtles

Nearly all of the seven known species of sea turtles are listed as endangered, instilling a sense of urgency in focused biopreservation efforts. Following the relatively recent publication of the turtle genome, great strides have been made towards the understanding of their phylogenetic history and molecular physiology. Extensive transcriptional profiling has shed light on unique regulatory pathways, such as those involved in developing their protective shell, equipping them with extraordinarily diversified olfaction, and providing them with unusual longevity. This trove of information is shedding light on many aspects of turtle biology and ecology that were previously poorly understood, laying a much-needed foundation for designing valuable, fact-based conservation policies.

  • Marine Ecosystems
    Sea turtles are crucial to maintaining the health of our oceans and seas. They keep seagrasses, sponges, and jellyfish from overpopulation by feasting on them. Since they are constantly on the move, sea turtles spread rich nutrients throughout oceans, harboring all types of marine life.
  • Tropical Ecosystems
    Turtles can be found in abundance in many tropical ecosystems. Since the majority of their diet is herbivorous, the seeds from the plants that turtles consume will flower from their excrement. Turtle eggs also play a vital role as a key source of nutrients for mammals and reptiles in these environments, making turtles fundamental contributors in the biodiversity of the tropics.
  • Beach Ecosystems
    The fragility of the beach ecosystem can be measured in sea turtle eggs and excrement. Sea turtles will come up to the beach to deposit their eggs, and the eggs that do not hatch, as well as their excrement, provide important nutrients for beach grasses and other plants. Without these nutrients the plants would lack the support they need to live, leading to erosive beaches and a dire ecosystem.

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