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Coral lifestyles reflected in their genes

Coral lifestyles reflected in their genes

Coral lifestyles reflected in their genes

The first comparative genome study between two corals reveals significant evolutionary differences. These findings could help scientists understand the resilience of corals and how they might respond to climate change. Reef-building corals diverged into two genetically distinct groups, called the robust clade and the complex clade, at least 240 million years ago. Until now, the only complex coral genome available has been for the complex coral Acropora digitifera. An international team, led by Christian Voolstra and Manuel Aranda from KAUST, sequenced the genome of the robust coral Stylophora pistillata and then compared it with the existing Acropora genome. Read more >>> Read more

Trawl of Red Sea surface waters finds little plastic

Trawl of Red Sea surface waters finds little plastic

Trawl of Red Sea surface waters finds little plastic

KAUST Professor/Director of the Red Sea Research Center, Carlos Duarte, and his student Cecilia Martin were part of a team that measured the amount of plastic debris in the Red Sea during sea voyages in 2016-2017. They found that the quantity of plastic in the Red Sea was quite low, which they attribute to there being no consistent inflow from a river and to plastics collecting in corals and mangroves. Read more >>> Read more

Ancient viral genes may give corals a new lease on life

Ancient viral genes may give corals a new lease on life

Ancient viral genes may give corals a new lease on life

KAUST Assistant Professor of marine science Manuel Aranda, his postdoc Jit Ern Chen and Phd student Guoxin Cui conducted analyses to find out which genes turn on or off when Symbiodinium is exposed to heat stress. Symbiodinium is the unicellular alga that provides its coral host with the photosynthetic products it needs to survive, while the coral host provides nutrients for the alga. Read more >>> Read more
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