Maria Byrne

Maria Byrne
The University of Sydney · School of Biological Sciences and Discipline of Anatomy

Professor

About

589
Publications
160,813
Reads
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18,874
Citations
Citations since 2017
167 Research Items
11023 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,000

Publications

Publications (589)
Preprint
Full-text available
Chromatin accessibility plays an important role in shaping gene expression patterns across development and evolution; however, little is known about the genetic and molecular mechanisms that influence chromatin configuration itself. Because cis and trans influences can both theoretically influence the accessibility of the epigenome, we sought to be...
Article
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Changes in developmental gene regulatory networks (dGRNs) underlie much of the diversity of life, but the evolutionary mechanisms that operate on regulatory interactions remain poorly understood. Closely related species with extreme phenotypic divergence provide a valuable window into the genetic and molecular basis for changes in dGRNs and their r...
Article
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Coral reef islands can support large legal maritime zones (i.e., ocean spaces where States have rights and responsibilities) and are of international and geopolitical importance. This review focuses on low-lying coral reef islands supplied with sediments derived from skeletons and shells of calcifying organisms. For coral islands, the outer ‘low-wa...
Article
Despite the notoriety of the corallivorous crown of thorns starfish (COTS, Acanthaster sp.), with population outbreaks that decimate reefs throughout the Indo‐Pacific, the physiology of the juvenile stage remains poorly understood. We determined the feeding rate and metabolic rate of juvenile COTS during their initial algae‐eating stage. The metabo...
Article
Full-text available
Chromatin configuration is highly dynamic during embryonic development in animals, exerting an important point of control in transcriptional regulation. Yet there exists remarkably little information about the role of evolutionary changes in chromatin configuration to the evolution of gene expression and organismal traits. Genome-wide assays of chr...
Article
With rising ocean temperatures, extreme weather events such as marine heatwaves (MHWs) are increasing in frequency and duration, pushing marine life beyond their physiological limits. The potential to respond to extreme conditions through physiological acclimatization, and pass on resistance to the next generation, fundamentally depends on the capa...
Article
Ocean acidification (OA) driven by sea water uptake of anthropogenic atmospheric CO 2 has broad deleterious effects on marine species including modified behavioural interactions such as between predators and prey. Predatory sea stars are key species in many marine ecosystems and often elicit defensive responses in their prey. This study investigate...
Article
As the ocean warms, the thermal tolerance of marine invertebrates is key to determining their distributional change, where acclimation to low pH may impact the thermal range of optimal development. We compared thermal tolerance of progeny from a low pH-acclimated sea urchin (Arbacia lixula) population from the CO 2 vents of Ischia (Italy) and a nea...
Preprint
Full-text available
Changes in developmental gene regulatory networks (dGRNs) underlie much of the diversity of life, but the evolutionary mechanisms that operate on interactions with these networks remain poorly understood. Closely related species with extreme phenotypic divergence provide a valuable window into the genetic and molecular basis for changes in dGRNs an...
Article
Full-text available
Crown of thorns starfish (COTS, Acanthaster sp.) are notorious for their destructive consumption of coral that decimates tropical reefs, an attribute unique among tropical marine invertebrates. Their populations can rapidly increase from 0–1 COTS ha−1 to more than 10–1000 COTS ha−1 in short order causing a drastic change to benthic communities and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Chromatin configuration is highly dynamic during embryonic development in animals, exerting an important point of control in transcriptional regulation. Yet there exists remarkably little information about the contribution of evolutionary changes in chromatin configuration to the evolution of gene expression and organismal traits. Genome-wide assay...
Article
For marine ectotherms, larval success, planktonic larval duration and dispersal trajectories are strongly influenced by temperature, and therefore ocean warming and heatwaves have profound impacts on these sensitive stages. Warming, through increased poleward flow in regions with western boundary currents, such as the East Australia Current (EAC),...
Article
Tropical sea cucumbers are in peril due to overharvest. Sixteen species are endangered or vulnerable (IUCN) with high-value teatfish recently listed on CITES Appendix II. In light of these listings, we review the Queensland Sea Cucumber Fishery, which harvests CITES-listed black teatfish (Holothuria whitmaei) and white teatfish (H. fuscogilva), and...
Article
Many sea stars are well known for facultative or obligate asexual reproduction in both the adult and larval life-cycle stages. Some species and lineages are also capable of facultative or obligate hermaphroditic reproduction with self-fertilization. However, models of population genetic variation and empirical analyses of genetic data typically ass...
Article
Crown-of-thorns sea stars are one of the most ecologically important tropical marine invertebrates, with boom-bust population dynamics that influence the community structure of coral reefs. Although predation is likely to influence the development of population outbreaks, little is known about the defensive behavior of crown-of-thorns sea stars. Ri...
Article
Abstract. Crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster sp.) are among the most studied coral reef organisms, owing to their propensity to undergo major population irruptions, which contribute to significant coral loss and reef degradation throughout the Indo-Pacific. However, there are still important knowledge gaps pertaining to the biology, ecology, an...
Article
Growth and recruitment of the sea star Marthasterias glacialis was followed over six years in Lough Hyne, southwest Ireland. Juveniles from a 2-mm radius were found on algae at <1-2-m depth following what appeared to be gregarious larval settlement. Data from Lough Hyne and Mulroy Bay (northwest Ireland) indicated that algal habitat serves as a nur...
Article
Marine heatwaves are occurring with greater frequency and magnitude worldwide and can significantly alter community structure and ecosystem function. Predicting changes in community structure in extreme temperatures requires an understanding of variation among species in their thermal tolerance, and how potential acclimatization to recent temperatu...
Article
Gamete compatibility, and fertilization success, is mediated by gamete-recognition genes (GRGs) that are expected to show genetic evidence of a response to sexual selection associated with mating system traits. Changes in the strength of sexual selection can arise from the resolution of sperm competition among males, sexual conflicts of interest be...
Article
Full-text available
A predator-prey interaction occurs between the asterinid seastars Meridiastra calcar and Parvulastra exigua, which are sympatric on the shores of southeast Australia. These seastars are important as omnivorous predators/scavengers (M. calcar) and surface grazing herbivores (P. exigua). Meridiastra calcar inhabits the lower shore, whilst P. exigua o...
Article
Climate change will increase energetic demands on marine invertebrate larvae and make planktonic food more unpredictable. This study determined the impact of ocean acidification on larval energetics of the oysters Saccostrea glomerata and Crassostrea gigas. Larvae of both oysters were reared until the 9-day-old, umbonate stage under orthogonal comb...
Article
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For intertidal marine species, salinity and temperature are important environmental factors with conditions ranging from oceanic salinity and temperature at high tide to almost freshwater conditions due to rain accompanied by aerial temperature exposure at low tide. The interactive effects of these stressors across development to the juvenile is no...
Article
There is a need to understand the responses of marine molluscs in this era of rapid climate change. Transgenerational plasticity that results in resilient offspring provides a mechanism for rapid acclimation of marine organisms to climate change. This study tested the hypothesis that adult parental exposure to elevated pCO2 and warming will have tr...
Article
The transition from the post-settlement herbivorous juvenile to the coral-eating stage of crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) is a fundamental step to seed population outbreaks that decimate tropical coral reefs. How the highly cryptic juveniles fare during this transition is poorly understood. We show that the juveniles are vulnerable to attack by cor...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Microbes have a strong impact on the biology of their host, with those living in the gut being essential to immunity, development, and metabolism. A functional gut, however, has been lost several times during animal evolution. Here, using sister sea urchin species, we report that the loss of a functional gut corresponds with a reduced...
Article
Climate change is expected to warm and acidify oceans and alter the phenology of phytoplankton, creating a mismatch between larvae and their food. Transgenerational plasticity (TGP) may allow marine species to acclimate to climate change; however, it is expected that this may come with elevated energetic demands. This study used the oysters, Saccos...
Article
The molecular mechanisms underlying development of the pentameral body of adult echinoderms are poorly understood but are important to solve with respect to evolution of a unique body plan that contrasts with the bilateral body plan of other deuterostomes. As Nodal and BMP2/4 signalling is involved in axis formation in larvae and development of the...
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Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) sediments are the dominant form of CaCO3 on coral reefs accumulating in lagoon and inter-reefal areas. Owing to their mineralogy and a range of physical parameters, tropical CaCO3 sediments are predicted to be more sensitive to dissolution driven by ocean acidification than the skeleton of living reef organisms. How this s...
Article
For short development species, like the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma, the entire planktonic duration can be impacted by marine heatwaves (MHW). Developmental thermal tolerance of this species through metamorphosis was investigated over a broad range (7.6–28.0 °C), including temperatures across its distribution and MHW conditions. In contro...
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Oceans have absorbed approximately 30% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, causing a phenomenon known as 'ocean acidification'. With surface ocean pH changing at a rapid pace, continued uptake of CO2 is expected to decrease ocean pH by 0.3 pH units as early as 2081, accompanied by a decrease in the saturation of calcium carbonate minerals needed to pro...
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Ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) affects nearly all aspects of marine organism physiology and it is important to consider both stressors when predicting responses to climate change. We investigated the effects of long-term exposure to OW and OA on the physiology of adults of the sea urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma , a species resident i...
Article
Gradual ocean warming and marine heatwaves represent major threats for marine organisms already facing other anthropogenic-derived hazards, such as chemical contamination in coastal areas. In this study, the combined effects of thermal stress and exposure to gadolinium (Gd), a metal used as a contrasting agent in medical imaging which enters the aq...
Article
Gastrulation is a fundamental morphogenetic process in development. In echinoderms with ancestral-type development through feeding larvae, gastrulation involves radially symmetrical invagination of cells around the blastopore. Gastrulation in the seastar Parvulastra exigua, a species with non-feeding larvae deviates from this pattern. Microinjectio...
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Population outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) have resulted in extensive coral mortality on reefs in the Indo-Pacific region and is considered one of the major contributors of significant declines in coral cover in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Effective management of CoTS outbreaks rely on improved understanding...
Article
Larvae are a critical dispersal stage of marine invertebrates, and their survival depends on nutrition and energetics. This study compared the size, survival, metabolic rate and egg and larval lipid class profiles of larvae of the endemic Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata and the invasive Pacific oyster Magallana gigas through a period of sta...
Article
Ocean acidification (OA) from seawater uptake of rising carbon dioxide emissions impairs development in marine invertebrates, particularly in calcifying species. Plasticity in gene expression is thought to mediate many of these physiological effects, but how these responses change across life history stages remains unclear. The abbreviated lecithot...
Article
Ocean warming and increasing incidence of marine heat waves (MHW) are having far-reaching impacts on coastal ecosystems. The small intertidal asterinid starfish, Parvulastra exigua, in south-eastern Australia, occurs in a global warming hotspot. Development occurs in the intertidal as this species lays eggs and has benthic larvae. The impact of tem...
Article
Full-text available
The ecology of the early herbivorous juvenile stage of the crown-of-thorns sea star (COTS, Acanthaster spp.) is poorly understood, yet the success of this life stage is key to generating population outbreaks that devastate coral reefs. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) has been considered to be the main diet of herbivorous juveniles. In this study, we...
Article
Full-text available
Concurrent anthropogenic global climate change and ocean acidification are expected to have a negative impact on calcifying marine organisms. While knowledge of biological responses of organisms to oceanic stress has emerged from single‐species experiments, these do not capture ecologically relevant scenarios where the potential for multi‐organism...
Article
Respiration, photosynthesis, and calcification of cultured organisms and biological substrata can substantially alter the pH and other carbonate parameters of water in aquaculture systems. One such example is the diel cycle of photosynthesis and respiration by diatoms and seaweeds growing on ‘settlement plates’ used to induce metamorphosis of inver...
Article
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The genetic basis for divergence in developmental gene expression among species is poorly understood, despite growing evidence that such changes underlie many interesting traits. Here we quantify transcription in hybrids of Heliocidaris tuberculata and Heliocidaris erythrogramma, two closely related sea urchins with highly divergent developmental g...
Article
The thermal response of the amphipod Sunamphitoe parmerong was contrasted between unacclimated ‘wild’ and acclimated populations. Brooding females were allocated to 17 °C or 23 °C treatments and their progeny developed to adulthood at the same temperature. Tolerance to acute thermal challenge (26–36 °C) was determined. The 17 °C and 23 °C acclimate...
Article
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The temporal pattern of juvenile release by two species of viviparous asterinid sea stars that incubate their young in the gonads was documented. Parvulastra parvivipara released juveniles (400–3000 µm diameter) in 1–5 cohorts. Parents produced large juveniles (>1000-µm) irrespective of adult size. Released juveniles were larger than the retained j...
Article
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Ocean warming and increasing incidence of marine heatwaves (MHW) challenge the survival of marine organisms. While the impacts of climate scenario-based ocean warming are well investigated, the response of organisms to extreme events such as MHW is less understood. In this study, the thermal tolerance of the amphipod Hyale niger, an ecologically im...
Article
Full-text available
The Echinodermata is characterized by a secondarily evolved pentameral body plan. While the evolutionary origin of this body plan has been the subject of debate, the molecular mechanisms underlying its development are poorly understood. We assembled a de novo developmental transcriptome from the embryo through metamorphosis in the sea star Parvulas...
Article
Full-text available
Securing economically and ecologically significant molluscs, as our oceans warm due to climate change, is a global priority. South eastern Australia receives warm water in a strengthening East Australia Current and so resident species are vulnerable to elevated temperature and marine heat waves. This study tested whether prior exposure to elevated...
Article
Crown-of-thorns seastar (COTS) outbreaks are a major threat to coral reefs. Although the herbivorous juveniles and their switch to corallivory are keys to seeding outbreaks, they remain a black box in our understanding of COTS. We investigated the impact of a delay in diet transition due to coral scarcity in cohorts reared on coralline algae for 10...
Article
Coastal and intertidal habitats are at the forefront of anthropogenic influence and environmental change. The species occupying these habitats are adapted to a world of extremes, which may render them robust to the changing climate or more vulnerable if they are at their physiological limits. We characterised the diurnal, seasonal and interannual p...
Article
Achieving regeneration of the central nervous system (CNS) is a major challenge for regenerative medicine. The inability of mammals to regrow a severed CNS contrasts with the amazing regenerative powers of their deuterostome kin, the echinoderms. Rapid CNS regeneration from a specialized autotomy plane in echinoderms presents a highly tractable and...
Article
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Understanding the extent to which laboratory findings of low pH on marine organisms can be extrapolated to the natural environment is key towards making better projections on the impacts of global change on marine ecosystems. We simultaneously exposed larvae of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula to ocean acidification in laboratory and natural CO2 vents...
Preprint
Full-text available
Securing economically and ecologically significant molluscs, as our oceans warm and acidify due to climate change, is a global priority. South eastern Australia receives warm water in a strengthening East Australia Current and so resident species are vulnerable to elevated temperature and marine heat waves. This study tested whether oysters pre exp...
Article
Full-text available
Adequately sampling benthic cover in marine ecosystems is a challenge with most methods encompassing only a small portion of the area for which cover is estimated. Recent advances in photogrammetric techniques are providing opportunity to map expansive areas of reef. This study aimed to evaluate the adequate level of sampling for traditional quadra...
Article
Full-text available
Transgenerational plasticity (TGP) may be an important mechanism for marine organisms to acclimate to climate change stressors including ocean warming (OW) and ocean acidification (OA). Conversely, environmental stress experienced by one generation may have detrimental latent effects on subsequent generations. We examined TGP in the embryos and lar...
Article
The characterization of gene expression in gametes has advanced our understanding of the molecular basis for ecological variation in reproductive success and the evolution of reproductive isolation. These advances are especially significant for ecologically important keystone predators such as the coral‐eating crown‐of‐thorns sea stars (COTS, Acant...
Article
Full-text available
Ocean acidification (OA), from seawater uptake of anthropogenic CO2, has a suite of negative effects on the ability of marine invertebrates to produce and maintain their skeletons. Increased organism pCO2 causes hypercapnia, an energetically costly physiological stress. OA alters seawater carbonate chemistry, limiting the carbonate available to for...
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In the originally published version of the article, Figure 1 caption contains errors. Fig. 1 is shown below with the correct caption.
Article
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Sibling competition and developmental asynchrony may greatly influence the arrangement and size of offspring of marine invertebrates that care for their young. In Parvulastra parvivipara, an asterinid sea star that incubates its young in the gonads, sibling cannibalism supports post-metamorphic development. Offspring size varies within (coefficient...
Article
The article is available for open view until January 7, 2020 at https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1a3tS51aUZHW~ Anthropogenic CO2–driven ocean acidification (OA) is causing a decrease in seawater pH and the saturation state of calcium carbonate minerals, compromising the ability of calcifying species to produce and maintain their skeletons. Sea urchi...
Article
Although cross generation (CGP) and multigeneration (MGP) plasticity have been identified as mechanisms of acclimation to global change, the weight of evidence indicates that parental conditioning over generations is not a panacea to rescue stress sensitivity in offspring. For many species there were no benefits of parental conditioning. Even when...
Article
Full-text available
Commercial shellfish aquaculture is vulnerable to the impacts of ocean acidification driven by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption by the ocean as well as to coastal acidification driven by land run off and rising sea level. These drivers of environmental acidification have deleterious effects on biomineralization. We investigated shell biom...
Article
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Microinjection is a common embryological technique used for many types of experiments, including lineage tracing, manipulating gene expression, or genome editing. Injectable reagents include mRNA overexpression, mis-expression, or dominant-negative experiments to examine a gene of interest, a morpholino antisense oligo to prevent translation of an...
Article
Environmental anomalies that trigger adverse physiological responses and mortality are occurring with increasing frequency due to climate change. At species' range peripheries, environmental anomalies are particularly concerning because species often exist at their environmental tolerance limits and may not be able to migrate to escape unfavourable...
Chapter
Ocean acidification (OA) is the decline in seawater pH and saturation levels of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals that has led to concerns for calcifying organisms such as corals, oysters and mussels because of the adverse effects of OA on their biomineralisation, shells and skeletons. A range of cellular biology, geochemistry and materials scienc...
Article
A new genus of Holothuroidea, Notostichopus, from Australia is described and its phylogenetic relationship examined. The new genus is based on two species within the family Stichopodidae, previously attributed to Stichopus. Notostichopus is characterized by the absence of rosette ossicles and the presence of table ossicles with at most one crossbea...
Article
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Ocean acidification (OA) is predicted to be a major driver of ocean biodiversity change. At projected rates of change, sensitive marine taxa may not have time to adapt. Their persistence may depend on pre-existing inter-individual variability. We investigated individual male reproductive performance under present-day and OA conditions using two rep...
Preprint
Full-text available
Developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs) describe the interactions among gene products that drive the differential transcriptional and cell regulatory states that pattern the embryo and specify distinct cell fates. GRNs are often deeply conserved, but whether this is the product of constraint inherent to the network structure or stabilizing se...
Article
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In marine invertebrates that care for their young, the number of offspring is often correlated with adult size. The number, size, and mass of progeny relative to parent size were investigated in three asterinid sea star species that incubate their young in the gonads. Cryptasterina hystera has intragonadal planktonic-type lecithotrophic larvae with...