Navigation Links
Creation of the first frozen repository for Hawaiian coral
Date:8/18/2010

Honolulu, HI Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have created the first frozen bank for Hawaiian corals in an attempt to protect them from extinction and to preserve their diversity in Hawaii. Mary Hagedorn, an adjunct faculty member at HIMB and a research scientist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, leads the laboratory at the HIMB research facilities on Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, that is banking the frozen coral cells.

"Because frozen banked cells are viable, the frozen material can be thawed one, 50 or, in theory, even 1,000 years from now to restore a species or population," said Hagedorn. "In fact, some of the frozen sperm samples have already been thawed and used to fertilize coral eggs to produce developing coral larvae."

Coral reefs are living, dynamic ecosystems that provide invaluable services: They act as nursery grounds for marine fish and invertebrates, provide natural storm barriers for coastlines, purify carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and they are potential sources for undiscovered pharmaceuticals.

However, coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented levels of degradation due to human impact. Globally, greenhouse gasses from burning fossil fuels are warming the oceans, making them more acidic and causing corals to stress and bleach. As a result, the corals are more susceptible to emergent diseases. Locally, reefs are affected by pollution and sedimentation from poor land-use practices, nutrient run-off from farms and waste-treatment plants, and destructive practices such as dynamite fishing and trawls.

Unless action is taken now, coral reefs and many of the animals that depend on them may cease to exist within the next 40 years, causing the first global extinction of a worldwide ecosystem during current history.

"This work highlights the importance of basic science and discovery for developing creative solutions to pressing conservation problems," said Steve Monfort, director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. "We are confident that this effort will one day help to restore these vital marine ecosystems."

Saving reef habitat alone will not stop corals' decline because many of the most serious threats are global rather than local. Done properly over time, researchers can store samples of frozen material and place them back into ecosystems to infuse new genes and vigor into natural populations, thereby enhancing the health and viability of wild stocks.

Currently, the Hawaiian bank contains frozen sperm and embryonic cells from mushroom coral (Fungia scutaria) and rice coral (Montipora capitata), but it is only a beginning. The researchers hope to store many of the corals that are important to Hawaiian reefs.

Helping with this project are two student summer interns supported by the Smithsonian Women's Committee: Malia Paresa (a senior at the University of Southern California) and Kelly Martorana (a recent graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo). This internship was an incredible experience for both women, but especially relevant to Paresa, who grew up five minutes from Kaneohe Bay.

"Before this internship, I had no idea how dire the situation was that many coral species are facing, and now I am much more aware that all of their hardships are caused by anthropogenic activities," said Paresa. "As a native Hawaiian and Kaneohe native, I take great pride in making a difference in the future of Hawaiian coral reefs. If we act quickly enough, we can make a difference to their future." In addition, visiting scientist, Dr. Kamal Sarma from the Central Agricultural Research Institute on Nicobar and Andaman Islands, and Virginia Carter and Ann Farrell from the Smithsonian are assisting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tara Hicks Johnson
hickst@hawaii.edu
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. $25M NSF center established to investigate the creation of biological machines
2. Exposure to young triggers new neuron creation in females exhibiting maternal behavior
3. Fate Therapeutics announces creation of small molecule platform for commercial-scale reprogramming
4. U of Minnesota study finds high school teachers influence student views of evolution & creationism
5. Gladstone scientists identify key factors in heart cell creation
6. Scientists propose the creation of a new type of seed bank
7. Scientists find the first evidence of genetically modified plants in the wild
8. First satellite measurement of water volume in Amazon floodplain
9. Genome of ancient sponge reveals origins of first animals, cancer
10. First nearshore survey of Antarctic krill reveals high density, stable population in shallow waters
11. Discovered: Audubons first engraving of a bird
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Creation of the first frozen repository for Hawaiian coral
(Date:6/30/2017)... ARLINGTON, Va. , June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... a leading developer and supplier of face and ... the ATA Featured Product provider program. ... created an innovative way to monitor a driver,s ... benefit greatly from being able to detect fatigue ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an ... identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate as ... 15 thru May 17, 2017, in Washington ... Center. Identity impacts the lives of ... quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by the ... in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ionization ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants will learn ... as well as gain a better understanding of how genomics is important for ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the one-day agenda ... September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , Returning as ... Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers in discussing ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, ... Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin will allow ...
Breaking Biology Technology: