Sandy's dissertation will focus on the development of Cassiopea as a model organism to study symbiosis. Cassiopea, similarly to corals, has a mutualistic relationship with Symbiodiniaceae. Albeit, is a more amicable system when compared to hard corals, as this upside-down jellyfish can be easily maintained in laboratory conditions, has a closed sexual reproductive cycle, and short generation time. The use of Cassiopea as a model organism to investigate symbiosis with Symbiodiniaceae, would provide us with a better understanding of cnidarian symbiosis and would bring us a step closer to the development of a cnidarian symbiosis model.
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