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Coral Biodiversity2019-08-28T15:22:21+00:00


Biodiversity & Coral

PerkinElmer Applied Genomics

Gene-Engineering Technologies & Targeted Selective Breeding for Corals

Approximately 10% of marine coral reef has been destroyed in the past 20 years and, if the trend is not reversed, 50% of the remaining population of corals will be lost by 2030. The combination of local threats, such as mining and habitat destruction, and global factors, such as the rising sea temperature, is putting the world coral population under critical stress. The recent publication of multiple coral genomes has exponentially increased our understanding of the biology of these organisms. The exceptional level of genomic divergence between different species is possibly the most striking feature of coral genomics. By studying this diversity, scientists are in the process of identifying the species-specific genes that render some corals resilient to environmental changes. Coral biologists are combining this knowledge to gene-engineering technologies and targeted selective breeding, leading the way to reverse the current trend and restore the coral reefs to their original condition.

  • Coastal Environmental Protection
    Coral reefs are essential in providing environmental protection. Coastal erosion would be prevalent since reefs protect beaches from waves and storms. They act as a barrier, from water’s surface to meters and meters deep, dispersing energy back away from the lagoons, and further beaches. Some countries would cease to exist without this protective barrier.

  • Drug Discovery
    The drug industry utilizes reef organisms in an array of treatments for diseases such as cancer and leukemia. An incredible example, scientists in the Caribbean were able to synthesize an anticancer agent against tumors using a species of sea squirts. The potential of further drug discovery from reef organisms is only limited by time.
  • High Biodiversity Environment
    Coral reefs offer some of highest biodiversity of any ecosystem. Occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than twenty-five percent of marine life.

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