Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Coral Algae (Symbiodinium) Discovered in Black Corals at Never Seen Before Depths

21.10.2010
Researchers at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), an organized research unit in the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology have made a remarkable new discovery.

When most people envision coral, they typically think of shallow-water reef-building corals found along beaches and tropical nearshore habitats.

These “typical” corals are dependent upon photosynthetic algae (also known as Symbiodinium or zooxanthellae) found in their tissues to obtain nutrients to live off of. In deeper less known waters, closely related black corals were considered to be void of these algae because of the light shortage to support photosynthesis.

In fact, all black corals were considered to lack Symbiodinium (algae), because they are typically found at great depths where light levels are very low. Black corals are of substantial cultural and economic importance in Hawai‘i. Some species are harvested commercially for the precious coral jewelry industry in deep waters off Maui, and black coral is considered the official gemstone of the State of Hawai‘i.

Even though most people have heard of black coral jewelry, very few ever get to see these corals in their natural environments because of the depths they are found in. As a result of their remote habitats, very little is known about the basic biology of black corals.

Scientists at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), examined 14 black coral species collected between 10 and 396 m from around Hawai‘i for the presence of algae using molecular and histological (tissue studies) techniques. Surprisingly, 71% of the examined species were found to contain algae, even at depths approaching 400 m. These black corals exhibited very similar traits to those of corals commonly found in shallow-water (use of algae). PhD student, Daniel Wagner at HIMB was the one who led the investigation.

He states: “because black corals are predominantly found in deep and dark environments, most people assumed that they could not harbor these photosynthetic symbiotic algae. At this point we do not know how these algae are able to exist in extreme environments, and it certainly highlights how little we know about deep reefs.”

This is a new and important discovery for coral biology, representing the deepest record of Symbiodinium to date. This research also implies that some members of these algae have extremely diverse habitat preferences and broad environmental ranges. The prestigious Royal Society will be publishing the full research report in their journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B this month.

For More information on this research contact Daniel Wagner at wagnerda@hawaii.edu or Carlie Wiener at cwiener@hawaii.edu.

Related Websites
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology – http://hawaii.edu/himb.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B - http:/ /rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/

Carlie Wiener | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hawaii.edu
http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/soest_web/2010_news_PDFs/Wagner_Black_Coral.pdf
http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/soest_web/2010_news_PDFs/Wagner_Black_Coral.pdf

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>