Thermophilic algae protected corals from bleaching

Scientists have developed a new method of protecting coral reefs from climate change: they took strains of dinoflagellates Cladocopium goreauithat can protect coral reefs from bleaching — a dangerous disease, which causes an increase in water temperature. Usually these algae feel comfortable at 27 degrees Celsius, but judging by the results of a study published in the journal Science Advances, new strains of sustainable and productive even at 31 degrees Celsius.

In recent years in the World ocean there is a mass extinction of corals: in one only to the Great Barrier reef of living coral abundance has decreased by half due to the summer heat in 2016 and 2017, and in 2018 this was followed by a reduction in the number of coral larvae at 89 percent. Coral reefs gradually adapt to warming, but the rate of climate change outpaces the rate of natural adaptation of corals.

Biggest environmental issue is the bleaching of corals — a disease which manifests itself in the form of loss of color and are caused by dying algae endosymbiotic family family Symbiodiniaceae. These algae have low physiological tolerance and are extremely sensitive to increases in water temperature. Without them, the corals lose 90 percent of power and energy, chances of survival are practically no remains.

Scientists under the leadership of Patrick bürger (Buerger Patrick) from the University of Melbourne has conducted research in the field of experimental evolution endosymbiotic algae. To do this, in 2010, they selected samples Cladocopium goreaui (this algae-dinoflagellates living in symbiosis with coral polyps) off the coast of magnetic island in the Central part of the Great Barrier reef. Later in the lab, they established a monoclonal culture, supported at a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, and began the process of its modification.

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