Scientists create coral hybrids to save decreasing coral reef population

As we all know, the life of Coral Reefs is in danger. Excessive bleaching has threatened their survival and scientists have warned that if we do not take immediate actions to save the corals, then they will become extinct by 2050. Recently scientists have figured out a unique way to save the small but the most important marine ecosystem on our Earth.

Corals cover less than 0.1 percent of the ocean’s surface, but for the marine life, they are the most important habitat. These corals are home to almost 25 percent of the marine life on the planet. But issues like climate change, global warming has put the lives of corals in danger. Increasing seawater temperature has resulted in excessive bleaching of corals. Bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues. More oceanic temperature means more bleaching and more loss of algae, the hearth of coral reefs. So, scientists are now thinking to restore the coral reefs through genetic techniques.

Recently, they discovered a unique species of corals called super corals that have the ability to survive in warm oceanic environment. These super corals have evolved to resist themselves against increasing seawater temperature. Many of the super corals live in the warm waters of the Red Sea, and some others live in the hot and acidic waters of mangrove forests in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.

Professor Madeleine van Oppen, a senior researcher on coral reefs from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Melbourne and her team, has started researching about applying genetic engineering to corals. They want to genetically manipulate the corals to increase their stress tolerance so that they can withstand warmer oceanic temperatures and storms. So far van Oppen and her research group have successfully crossed different types of corals to produce coral hybrids that can handle heat better. They are now getting ready to test these hybrid corals in the Great Barrier Reef.

Van Oppen is very concerned about the survival of Coral reefs under stressful oceanic environments and hopes making coral hybrids can be a fruitful solution to save their lives. “It is a story of hope, rather than saying ‘it’s all going to die and there’s nothing we can do about it. It is too late to leave them (corals) alone, given the pace at which we are losing corals, said van Oppen.

As we all know, the life of Coral Reefs is in danger. Excessive bleaching has threatened their survival and scientists have warned that if we do not take immediate actions to save the corals, then they will become extinct by 2050. Recently scientists have figured out a unique way to save the small but the most important marine ecosystem on our Earth.

Corals cover less than 0.1 percent of the ocean’s surface, but for the marine life, they are the most important habitat. These corals are home to almost 25 percent of the marine life on the planet. But issues like climate change, global warming has put the lives of corals in danger. Increasing seawater temperature has resulted in excessive bleaching of corals. Bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues. More oceanic temperature means more bleaching and more loss of algae, the hearth of coral reefs. So, scientists are now thinking to restore the coral reefs through genetic techniques.

Recently, they discovered a unique species of corals called super corals that have the ability to survive in warm oceanic environment. These super corals have evolved to resist themselves against increasing seawater temperature. Many of the super corals live in the warm waters of the Red Sea, and some others live in the hot and acidic waters of mangrove forests in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.

Professor Madeleine van Oppen, a senior researcher on coral reefs from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Melbourne and her team, has started researching about applying genetic engineering to corals. They want to genetically manipulate the corals to increase their stress tolerance so that they can withstand warmer oceanic temperatures and storms. So far van Oppen and her research group have successfully crossed different types of corals to produce coral hybrids that can handle heat better. They are now getting ready to test these hybrid corals in the Great Barrier Reef.

Van Oppen is very concerned about the survival of Coral reefs under stressful oceanic environments and hopes making coral hybrids can be a fruitful solution to save their lives. “It is a story of hope, rather than saying ‘it’s all going to die and there’s nothing we can do about it. It is too late to leave them (corals) alone, given the pace at which we are losing corals, said van Oppen.

 

by-https://sciexaminer.com/news/science/scientists-create-coral-hybrids-save-decreasing-coral-reef-population-3276.html

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