Navigation Links
Scientific sleuths pinpoint the guilty coral killers
Date:11/23/2011

The elusive culprits that are killing countless coral reefs around the world can now be nabbed with technology normally used to diagnose human diseases, marine researchers say.

Coral researchers and reef managers will be able to identify coral infections using a new method that allows them to classify specific diseases based on the presence of microbes.

This could lead to more effective action to reduce the impact of disease on the world's imperilled coral reefs.

"Current classification of coral diseases is mostly based on a description of how the coral has deteriorated, such as the pattern of tissue loss and abnormal colours," says Joseph Pollock, a PhD student at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. "This is an ineffective way to identify coral diseases because different diseases can often look very similar. For instance, in the Caribbean alone, more than six "white" diseases show the same characteristics of tissue loss exposing white coral skeletons.

Coral diseases can be caused by a number of different microbes, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. Knowing exactly which toxic organism leads to a particular disease is therefore important for accurate diagnosis and for planning how to manage or control its impact.

One of Pollock's supervisors, David Bourne from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, says that the recent worldwide decline of coral reefs has been accompanied by increased disease, creating an urgent need for a deeper understanding of the various diseases, including what harmful bacteria and viruses contribute to different coral diseases, what triggers them and how they spread.

"Instead of relying on appearances to tell us what disease the corals have, we need to determine what's happening to them before the symptoms show. This will help us to control, or reduce the impacts."

By applying a diagnostic technology commonly used in human disease identification or in forensics, Mr Pollock has found a diagnostic method that can accurately detect and quantify the coral pathogens in a sample of diseased coral.

"The technology is called quantitative-PCR (qPCR) and is often used in human medical research. qPCR works as a genetic fingerprinting technique that both detects and quantifies a specific DNA molecule in a sample. It can detect pathogens at even very low levels as few as a couple of bacteria in a cup of seawater," Mr Pollock says.

Apart from testing corals for the presence of pathogens, researchers can also use the technology on water samples to gauge the general health of the wider coral reef environment, Mr Pollock says.

"This technology is sure to have many applications in the future", he says, "as marine environments are put under pressure by multiple impacts from rapid coastal development, declining water quality, and climate change".


'/>"/>
Contact: Joe Pollock
fjpollock@gmail.com
61-004-664-07141
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientific collaboration between India and Germany reaches new dimension
2. Jobs, jobs, jobs on the cover of weekly newsmagazine of worlds largest scientific society
3. Virtual institutes to support the scientific collaborations of the future
4. Oligonol receives Supplyside West 2011 scientific Excellence Award
5. Responsibilities of scientists underlined by scientific community
6. Elsevier congratulates editors of Stem Cells: Scientific Facts and Fiction upon receipt of awards
7. New book explores the evolution of a key scientific idea
8. Scientific support for food security and global governance
9. A scientific go for commercial production of vitamin-D enhanced mushrooms
10. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County makes scientific history with pregnant plesiosaur
11. Einstein offers easy-to-use genome analyzer to scientific community
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... November 22, 2016 According to the new market ... Print, Face, Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in ... 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: Primarily ... Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is to witness a ... Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of ... during the analysis period 2014-2020. North America ... followed by Europe at 9.56% respectively. ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. ... The global bioinformatics market is ... Billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 21.1% during the ... driven by the growing demand for nucleic acid and protein sequencing, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... ... Aditya Humad, Acting CFO of AxioMed and Managing Partner of KICVentures, is ... is now gaining interest from Silicon Valley. “It was satisfying to complete the due ... say that, “We expect interest to continue to rise as AxioMed completes its cleanroom ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... PUNE, India , December 9, 2016 ... Product & Services (Primer, Probe, Custom, Predesigned, Reagent Equipment), Application (Research, ... - Forecasts to 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... Billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast ... ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... fan engagement platforms, the business of innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, ... executive will explore how technology is disrupting the playing field at a Smart ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... light to control cells — optogenetics — is key to exciting advances in ... the art, spatially patterned light projected via free-space optics stimulates small, transparent organisms ...
Breaking Biology Technology: