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Scuba Science 9 - Discovery Science: From Genomes to Reefs

M?nica Medina University of California at Merced Coral Reefs are one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. In these ecosystems, scleractinian corals are responsible for the formation and maintenance of the reef framework. Coral hosts live in a tightly coupled symbiosis with unicellular algae. The establishment of this relationship often takes place after mass spawning, a natural event of stunning beauty during which coral colonies release synchronously all their gametes in the water. We have taken advantage of this event to rear coral larvae that are subsequently exposed to cultures of their algal symbionts. We have been able to gain knowledge of the dialogue that takes place between the coral host and its photosynthetic symbionts by using high throughput genomic technology. This project, however, would have not been possible without diving on the reef late at night to collect our specimens. Scuba diving opened the doors into this unknown and fascinating universe.
Length: 31:17

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