15 March, 2017

A new platform for the High-Content Screening of natural products

In Reef Genomics' latest publication Kremb et al. introduce a new imaging-based High-Content Screening for the broad-spectrum phenotypic profiling of natural products.

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24 February, 2017

JBI Cover feauture for article by Ziegler et al.

The current cover of JBI features our article on the molecular diversity of coral symbionts around the arabian peninsula.​

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20 February, 2017

KAUST Discovery feature for Symbiodinum Genome

Check​ out the KAUST Discovery article about our analysis of dinoflagellate genomes to identify adaptations to symbiosis in Symbiodinium.

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10 February, 2017

Coral heat tolerance alings with bacterial community composition

Have a look at our latest study in Nature communications to find out how bacterial community dynamics relate to coral heat tolerance.

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09 February, 2017

​Welcoming our new postdoctoral fellow Claudia Pogoreutz​

Claudia Pogoreutz has joined Reef Genomics lab as a new postdoc. Welcome!

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17 January, 2017

New insights into the role of Endozoicomonas in marine holobionts

In Reef Genomics' latest publication, we use comparative genomics to understand the role and function of Endozoicomonas bacteria associated with marine holobionts.

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19 January, 2017

Award for student video "Meet Aiptasia"

"Meet Aiptasia" video wins the Science of Storytelling Award at the WEP 2017

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02 January, 2017

Assessing the molecular diversity of coral symbionts around the Arabian Peninusla

In Reef Genomics' latest publication, they assess the biogeography of Symbiodinium comunites associated with coral hosts around the Arabian Peninsula.

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01 October, 2018

Cryptic coral reef creatures show cross-shelf biodiversity patterns

Cryptic fauna—small organisms that inhabit the hidden spaces within a reef structure—represent a substantial proportion of the diversity within coral reefs but are typically neglected in traditional visual surveys, which tend to focus on large and conspicuous species, such as fish and corals.

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16 August, 2018

Anemones rely on epigenetics during symbiosis

Anemones use epigenetic mechanisms to regulate the expression of genes involved in their symbiosis with photosynthetic algae, according to new research from KAUST. The same mechanisms may help them respond to environmental stress and could be harnessed to improve the resilience of anemones and corals to the challenges posed by climate change. A team at KAUST have sequenced anemone genomes using a technique that detects DNA methylation, a chemical tag attached to DNA that affects gene expression without altering the genetic sequence. They found that nearly 40 percent of anemone genes were methylated and that the methylation level of a gene correlated with its expression level.

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31 July, 2018

Bacteria that boost plant pumps against drought

Two types of bacteria known for their growth-promoting properties improved chili plant resistance to drought. They do this partially through their role in over-activating a pump present in the vacuolar membrane of root cells that ultimately facilitates water uptake from soil. Microbial ecologist, Daniele Daffonchio, and colleagues at KAUST and in Italy investigated whether bacteria that can confer drought resistance in plants have an effect on a cellular vacuolar proton pump that helps roots take up more water from the soil.

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29 July, 2018

Red Sea flushes faster from far flung volcanoes

Deep water in the Red Sea gets replenished much faster than previously thought and its circulation is directly affected by major climatic events, including volcanic eruptions, KAUST researchers have found. Waters occupying depths from 300 to 2000 meters in the Red Sea are recognized as the warmest and saltiest deep water in the world, with near-homogenous temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius and salinities higher than 40.5 practical salinity units (psu). The world average for similar depths is 2.5 degrees Celsius and 35 psu.

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15 July, 2018

Keeping up with sea-level rise

Soil accumulation in coastal ecosystems could mitigate rising sea levels around the Arabian Peninsula, according to new research from KAUST. However, this mitigation will require efforts to preserve and restore these ecosystems. Human-driven climate change is raising sea levels around the world at increasing rates, threatening hundreds of millions of people living in coastal areas. Researchers at KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center worked with colleagues at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals to determine whether this increase could be mitigated by soil accretion in coastal ecosystems.

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08 July, 2018

Mysterious gentle giants gather off Saudi coast

The availability of tiny prey near a coral reef in the eastern Red Sea seems not to be the reason that whale sharks aggregate there every spring. In recent years, juvenile whale sharks have been discovered gathering at a coral reef, 4 kilometers off the coast of Saudi Arabia between February and May. This provides the opportunity for scientists at KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center to study their behaviors. “Whale sharks are under threat from targeted fisheries and as bycatch and are listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List,” says Ph.D. student Aya Hozumi. “However, we have limited understanding of their ecology and life history, which poses a challenge to conservation efforts.”

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01 July, 2018

Remote corals pay the price of climate change

The coral reefs of a Samoan island in the remote southwest Pacific are in a surprisingly poor condition, highlighting the far-reaching impacts of climate change.

KAUST marine scientists joined colleagues on the research schooner Tara to examine the impacts of climate change on coral reefs surrounding Upolu, an island just 74 kilometers long and 24 kilometers wide, home to about 135,000 Samoans.

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17 June, 2018

Anemones take the heat with a little help from their friends

A core set of heat-stress-response genes has been identified in anemones in a study that also highlights the role of symbiotic algae in coping with temperature, an important revelation for planning conservation efforts. Researchers from KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center profiled gene transcripts and proteins expressed by sea anemones—three strains of the model organism Aiptasia pallida—from locations that experience different temperatures throughout the year: North Carolina, Hawaii and the Red Sea.

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10 June, 2018

Coral tricks for adapting to ocean acidification

A process that changes the regulation of genes could help corals acclimatize to the impacts of global warming.

Cells commonly control gene expression by adding a methyl group to part of the DNA, changing how the information on the DNA is read without changing its genetic code. Researchers at KAUST wanted to investigate whether DNA methylation could play a role in helping corals adapt to climate change.

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03 June, 2018

Synchronized swimming for seal migrations

Combining music and movement is not unusual—but translating the movements of migrating marine animals into musical notes certainly is. An international research team including KAUST scientists have created a sound symphony using data charting the movements of northern elephant seals in the Pacific Ocean. This sonification technique provides surprising insights into group dynamics and synchronicity.
“Many studies have analyzed single-animal tracks, but collective movement is rarely addressed,” says Carlos Duarte from KAUST, who led the project in collaboration with colleagues including Madhu Srinivasan from KAUST’s Visualization Core Lab, and scientists in the United States.

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