1 Tahrcountry Musings: Good bacteria: The key to coral reef survival

Friday, June 24, 2016

Good bacteria: The key to coral reef survival

 Dr. Tracy Ainsworth from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University who led a comprehensive research on coral reefs says good bacteria could be the key to keeping coral healthy.
DR Tracy adds "Healthy corals interact with complex communities of beneficial microbes or 'good bacteria’. It is very likely that these microorganisms play a pivotal role in the capacity of coral to recover from bouts of bleaching caused by rising temperatures."
Says co-author Dr. Ruth Gates from Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai'"Facilitating coral survival and promoting coral recovery are growing areas of research for coral reef scientists. To do this we need to explore and understand the bacteria that help keep corals and coral reefs healthy. We know that lasting changes to the community of beneficial bacteria affects important aspects of the function of host organisms such as humans or corals, including their ability to withstand further stress. Corals rely on good bacteria but crucially we don't yet understand these microbes well enough to know how they influence coral survival."

Details have been published in the latest issue of journal Science.

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