A new study led by the University of Hawai’i at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) of Mānoa has revealed that the diversity in Hawaiian corals could be driven by co-evolution among coral hosts, symbiotic algae and microbial community.
As coral reef ecosystems have rapidly collapsed globally over the past few decades, there are concerns that corals may not adapt to changing climatic conditions and much of their biodiversity. in these ecosystems can be lost before it can be studied and understood. . Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth, but it’s unclear what drives formation and diversification in the oceans, where there are few physical barriers to compost. separating the populations.
The team of researchers used a large amount of genomic sequence data to try to understand what might be some of the main drivers of adaptation and transformation in corals.
Zac Forsman, lead author of the study and a research assistant at HIMB, said: “Corals have an amazing variation in shapes, sizes and colors that even trained professionals It is also at best difficult to classify different species. “On top of that, some corals lose their symbiosis with the algae, turn opaque white or ‘bleached’ and die in heat waves in the sea, while a similar looking coral right next to it has We’d like to try to better understand what might be causing some of this amazing transformation you see on a typical reef. “
Forsman and colleagues examined the genetic relationships within the genus Porites, the species that form the basis of and build many coral reefs around the world. They were able to identify genes from corals, symbiotic algae and bacteria that are most strongly involved in coral bleaching and other factors like coral colony shape (morphology). They found relatively few genes involved in bleaching, but many related to long-distance and colonial morphology that governed different habitats.
“We sought to better understand the phenomenon of coral bleaching and put it in the context of other sources of variation in coral populations. Unexpectedly, we found evidence to suggest these This coral has been adapted and differentiated recently according to depth and distance from the coast.The symbiotic algae and microorganisms are also in the process of diverging, implying that process is involved. co-evolution. It’s like we’ve caught them in adaptive and specifying action.
“These corals have more complex habitat-related variations than we can imagine, and understanding how corals diversify across different habitats,” he explains. can teach us how they can adapt in the future. ” “Since modification is the raw material for adaptation, there is hope for the ability of these corals to adapt to future conditions, but only if we can slow the rate of loss. ”
The genome of the cauliflower coral is sequenced
ZH Forsman et al., Host parasitic coefficients, confusing structure and susceptibility to bleaching, in a coral population (Scleractinia; Poritidae), Scientific reports (Year 2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-73501-6
Provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa
Quote: Genome data ‘capture corals in action’ specification and adaptation (2020, November 2) retrieved November 3, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-11- genomic-corals-speciation.html
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