|Adaptive aspects of biochemical and physiological variability (Keynote lecture)|
Koehn, R.K. (1985). Adaptive aspects of biochemical and physiological variability (Keynote lecture), in: Gibbs, P.E. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 19th European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, Devon, UK, 16-21 September 1984. pp. 425-441
In: Gibbs, P.E. (Ed.) (1985). Proceedings of the 19th European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, Devon, UK, 16-21 September 1984. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-30294-3. 541 pp., more
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VLIZ: Proceedings 
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Using marine organisms as examples, it is possible to demonstrate that questions of adaptation, seemingly isolated within physiological ecology and evolutionary genetics, are actually intimately related one to the other. Genetic variation of enzymes, a topic of focus in genetics, can represent genetically-based variations in catalytic efficiency that have effects upon cellular and whole animal physiology. A significant proportion of the variation in certain physiological parameters can be attributed to genetic causes. Recently, the relationship between genetic and physiological variations has become sharply focused by studies that relate variations in growth rate to differing degrees of individual multiple locus heterozygosity. In a diversity of organisms, including marine species, higher relative growth rates are achieved by relatively more heterozygous individuals and this can be attributed to an energetic advantage derived from lowered costs of standard metabolic energy demands and, to some extent, by increased acquisition of energy resources from the environment. This point can be elaborated with data from a variety of marine species, data which emphasize the interdependency of physiology and genetics for understanding mechanisms of adaptation. Models of gene action that might underlie heterozygosity-related physiological phenotypes are presently lacking and their identification remains as a major challenge to marine physiologists, biochemists and geneticists.