Navigation Links
Fluorescent light revealed as gauge of coral health
Date:3/12/2013

Coral reefs not only provide the world with rich, productive ecosystems and photogenic undersea settings, they also contribute an economic boost valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. But their decline in recent years due to a variety of threatsfrom pollution to climate warminghas lent urgency to the search for new ways to evaluate their health.

A new study by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego scientists has revealed that fluorescence, the dazzling but poorly understood light produced by corals, can be an effective tool for gauging their health.

As described in the March 12 edition of Scientific Reports (a publication of the Nature Publishing Group), marine biologists Melissa Roth and Dimitri Deheyn describe groundbreaking research using fluorescence to test coral stress prompted from cold and heat exposures.

In experimental studies conducted at Scripps, Roth and Deheyn tested the common Indo-Pacific reef-building branching coral Acropora yongei under various temperatures. Branching corals are susceptible to temperature stress and often one of the first to show signs of distress on a reef. Roth and Deheyn found, at the induction of both cold and heat stress, corals rapidly display a decline in fluorescence levels. If the corals are able to adapt to the new conditions, such as to the cold settings in the experiment, then the fluorescence returns to normal levels upon acclimation.

While the corals recovered from cold stress, the heat-treated corals eventually bleached and remained so until the conclusion of the experiment. Coral bleaching, the loss of tiny symbiotic algae that are critical for coral survival, is a primary threat to coral reefs and has been increasing in severity and scale due to climate change. In this study, the very onset of bleaching caused fluorescence to spike to levels that remained high until the end of the experiment. The researchers noted that the initial spike was caused by the loss of "shading" from the symbiotic algae.

"This is the first study to quantify fluorescence before, during, and after stress," said Deheyn. "Through these results we have demonstrated that changes in coral fluorescence can be a good proxy for coral health."

Deheyn said the new method improves upon current technologies for testing coral health, which include conducting molecular analyses in which coral must be collected from their habitat, as opposed to fluorescence that can be tested non-invasively directly in the field.

Corals are known to produce fluorescence through green fluorescent proteins, but little is known about the emitted light's function or purpose. Scientists believe fluorescence could offer protection from damaging sunlight or be used as a biochemical defense generated during times of stress.

"This study is novel because it follows the dynamics of both fluorescent protein levels and coral fluorescence during temperature stress, and shows how coral fluorescence can be utilized as an early indicator of coral stress" said Roth, a Scripps alumna who is now a postdoctoral scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mario Aguilera or Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A non-invasive intracellular thermometer with fluorescent proteins has been created
2. Carnegie Mellon fluorescent biosensor reveals mechanism critical to immune system amplification
3. UGA researchers shed light on ancient origin of life
4. Genetics Society of Americas Genetics journal highlights for March 2013
5. New research confirms plight of bumble bees, persistence of other bees in Northeast
6. Stanford scientists help shed light on key component of Chinas pollution problem
7. Light from silicon nanocrystal LEDs
8. February highlights from Ecological Society of America publications
9. Researchers say sunlight yields more efficient carbon dioxide to methanol model
10. Colorado Marijuana Task Force Gives Green Light To "Pot Tourism"
11. Painting with catalysts: Nano-engineered materials for detoxifying water by use of sunlight
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized ... solutions, today announced that it has been awarded ... Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack ... "Innovation has been a driving force within ... will allow us to innovate and develop new ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... April 6, 2017 Forecasts by ... Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & ... Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, ... Are you looking for a definitive report ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences , ... life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan and Jennifer ... “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary approach to ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in ... professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership ... the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first ... accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual ... to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast cancer research ... use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of every the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: