Picture of the Week -- Coral Reefs and Climate Change | Science | Smithsonian
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Picture of the Week -- Coral Reefs and Climate Change

The ocean is getting warmer, higher and more acidic due to climate change. How well will coral reefs respond to such stresses?To find out, a team of researchers led by the University of Texas at Austin is looking to corals' genes. Sequencing a genome can take years, but a new method developed by th...

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Pacific coral, Acropora millepora, under fluorescent light. (Courtesy of Misha Matz, The University of Texas at Austin.)




The ocean is getting warmer, higher and more acidic due to climate change. How well will coral reefs respond to such stresses?



To find out, a team of researchers led by the University of Texas at Austin is looking to corals' genes. Sequencing a genome can take years, but a new method developed by the UT researchers reduced that time frame to one month. They focused on the nearly 11,000 genes that the coral actually uses, instead of the unused genes and DNA bits that make up most of the organism’s genome.



The scientists tested their method on the Pacific coral, Acropora millepora, and hope to see an explosion in research about coral adaption and evolution as a result.



-- by Joseph Caputo
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