In a groundbreaking new study, scientists used innovative molecular methods to explain how corals on Australia’s east coast survived the harsh conditions of the past.
“We arranged the genomes of 150 individual colonies of the same type of coral and used them to find out which genes could survive on coastal reefs,” said lead researcher Dr. Ira Cook of James James Cook University.
“Genomes are like a time capsule with a lot of historical information,” said Professor David Miller, co-author of the ARC Center for Excellence in Coral Reef Research (Coral CoE).
“In general, single genomes are really useful in coral research, but hundreds of genomes for the same species are a goldmine of information,” said Professor Miller.
The team delves into the ancient history of the rocks, about a million years ago, when the coastal corals from Magnetic Island first deviated from their northern sailing tribe.
Scientists mapped the rise and fall of these two coral populations on the Great Barrier Reef, tracking which genes evolved rapidly to withstand changing conditions by measuring the flow of genes across sites.
They say the results could be useful for the current and future conservation of coral reefs.
Dr. Cook: and his team already knew that the Great Barrier Reef corals could bloom despite the high turbidity և poorly variable salinity և temperature settings. Looking at the variations in the genome, the team found out how the corals achieved this.
The survival strategy used by Reef coastal corals involves a number of genes that have evolved rapidly over the last 10,000 years. This period includes floods since the last glacier. Another strategy involves the acquisition of specialized strains of coral symbiotic algae. These were found in the strict halls, where the most difficult conditions existed. They were often near rivers.
“These two strategies deserve special attention in future studies, as the possible keys to coral survival in such conditions,” said Dr. Cook.
“Losing this reef is a future opportunity, as coral reefs are currently undergoing unprecedented, rapid and rapid change due to human impact,” said Professor Miller.
“Coral reefs are threatened by climate change, overfishing and pollution.”
Addressing the latter, Dr. Cook says that water quality care in catchment areas is very important.
“Because high-quality genome assemblages are derived from larger corals, their symbionts, these related approaches will become key tools,” the authors said.
“They bring us closer to understanding the interaction of the evolution of past climates անների coral և coral reefs.”
Reference. “The Coral Holobiont Genome Signatures Reveal the Adaptations of Holocaust Climate Change հատուկ Sailor-Specific Symbiotics” by Ira Cook, Hua Ying, Sylvain Forrett, Pim Bongaerts, Ian M. Strugnel, Oleg Simakov, ia ia hang ang, Matt A. Field, Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, Sara C. Bell, David G. Bourne, Madeleine JH van Oppen, Mark A. Ragan and David J. Miller, 27 November 2020, Scientific Advancement :
DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abc6318: