Coral Genome and Cell Type Transcription

​This is largely a laboratory effort although fieldwork will be required in the Red Sea and elsewhere for comparative studies. Most of the fieldwork can most likely be accomplished from KAUST using the 46’ dive boat. Total usage for research would be daily during intensive periods for a total of 30-40 days per year. Culture and aquarium facilities will also be required for maintaining the population of corals. Fieldwork will involve extensive diving. Genomic DNA will be extracted in collaboration with Genomics facility in Edinburgh. Our coral species of choice is a brooding coral meaning that it is life-long associated with algae. We are in the stage of developing protocols that target the issue of extracting clean host DNA out of a meta organism that is associated with various microbial life forms. In parallel with the genome sequencing project, we are developing methods for sequencing the transcriptome of each of Stylophora pistillata's cell types. Cnidarians have relatively simple body structures that are composed to a limited number of cell types including nerve cells, sensorial cells, muscular cells, reproductive cells, and nematocysts.

Collaborators

  • Voolstra

  • Berumen

  • Ravasi (CBRC)