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The white stuff: Marine lab team seeks to understand coral bleaching
Date:10/22/2009

hanges in V. coralliilyticus resulting from temperature effects. The technique allows discovery of small-molecule metabolism-related compounds that correlate with different biological conditions. In this study, the levels of three compoundsbetaine, glutamate and succinatethat help regulate energy production and osmotic pressure (a mechanism for maintaining cellular integrity) in V. coralliilyticus were determined to vary significantly between 24 degrees Celsius when the bacterium is not virulent and 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) when it is. These metabolic changes, the HML team believes, are clues to learning why the small temperature change can turn non-virulent V. coralliilyticus into a coral bleaching menace.

Future metabolomic studies of V. coralliilyticus are planned to better understand the complete temperature-dependent mechanism involved in its pathogenicity. The researchers hope that these findings will lead to a better understanding of the symbiotic relationships that exist in healthy coral and the potential impacts on those relationships under changing ecological conditions.


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Contact: Michael E. Newman
michael.newman@nist.gov
301-975-3025
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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The white stuff: Marine lab team seeks to understand coral bleaching
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