15 August, 2021Probiotics for corals boost resilience, help prevent mortality
As more coral reefs around the world suffer from bleaching and mass mortality due to warming ocean temperatures and related climate change conditions, good news about reefs is welcome news. A new study, Coral microbiome manipulation elicits metabolic and genetic restructuring to mitigate heat stress and evade mortality, shows probiotics to be helpful protagonists in boosting coral health and preventing mortality in the face of environmental stressors. Lead authors from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are Dr. Raquel S. Peixoto, associate professor, Dr. Erika P. Santoro, postdoctoral fellow, and Dr. Helena D. M. Villela, research scientist.
13 August, 2021Corals survive the heat with bacterial help
Treating corals with a probiotic cocktail of beneficial bacteria increases survival after a bleaching event, according to new research. This approach could be administered in advance of a predicted heatwave to help corals recover from high sea temperatures.
Climate change is increasing the temperatures of the oceans, which disrupts the relationship between corals and their symbiotic photosynthetic algae and causes corals to bleach, in some cases eventually leading to their death. KAUST researchers have proposed that manipulating the coral microbiome might enhance their stress tolerance by using beneficial microorganisms for corals, or BMC.
25 July, 2021A radical plan to save ravaged coral reefs—with customized medicine
For decades, scientists have been engaged in a furious effort to save the world’s coral reefs, which are vanishing at an alarming rate—about half of them are believed to have died over the last 50 years. Efforts to “do something about it” have ranged from replanting programs to genetic engineering and establishing protective reserves. The combined effects of acidification, pollution, and climate change, however, continue to ravage these colonies. Scientists predict that up to 9O percent will die out over the next two decades, and that they will be gone completely by 2100.
07 July, 2021Professor Raquel S. Peixoto: The Coral Warrior
The world’s coral reefs are in crisis, with climate change emerging as the biggest threat of mass coral reef bleaching. Coral reef health walks hand-in-hand with overall ocean health, in addition to supplying effective shoreline protection and supporting businesses globally, from fishing to tourism.
26 April, 2021Will Probiotics Save Corals or Harm Them?
Manta rays and whitetip reef sharks glide past socially distanced visitors at Rio de Janeiro’s hangar-sized AquaRio aquarium. In a laboratory upstairs, above the main gallery, a new experiment is underway, one that marine scientists hope will enhance the survival prospects of the world’s coral reefs. Twenty rectangular aquarium tanks, each about 20 centimeters wide, are arranged in a grid on the fourth floor. Each one houses a colorful assortment of coral fragments.
09 March, 2021Working towards a safer future for our oceans
The ocean’s stable health is an important component that upholds the climate’s behavior and life on Earth. A key indicator of that health? Coral reefs, also known as the marine "canaries in the coal mine."
Coral bleaching due to climate change is a major concern among ocean researchers. Record ocean temperatures during 2014-2017 triggered a mass bleaching event around the globe, a sign that this issue is becoming more dire.
23 February, 2021Microbiome boost may help corals resist bleaching
A simple but powerful idea is to improve the health of corals using cocktails of beneficial bacteria. The strategy is being explored as part of global scientific efforts to help corals become stronger, more stress resistant and more likely to survive bleaching events associated with climate change. Corals rely on bacterial and algal symbionts to provide nutrients, energy (through photosynthesis), toxin regulation and protection against pathogenic attacks.