Shedding light on immune response in diseased corals

ScienceDaily | 5/24/2018 | Staff
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"Our findings point to an ecologically relevant potential trade-off, and one which has important implications as we see more coral disease as a result of climate change," said Laura Mydlarz, UTA associate professor and associate chair of biology. "Resilience of species and coral communities may be affected if corals reduce cell growth and reproduction when actively fighting a disease."

The research was published this month in Royal Society Open Science as "Transcriptional analyses provide new insight into the late-stage immune response of a diseased Caribbean coral." Mydlarz was senior author. Recent UTA biology doctoral graduate Lauren Fuess was first author. Former UTA biology doctoral graduate Whitney Mann and biology undergraduate Lea Jinks are also co-authors.

Researchers - Transcriptomes - Genes - Specimens - Eunicea

The researchers analyzed full transcriptomes or expressed genes of three healthy and three diseased specimens of Eunicea calyculata suffering from Eunicea Black Disease. Eunicea Black Disease is easily identified by the dark appearance of affected tissue.

The diseased corals showed higher activity among groups of genes that work together around stimulus, immune response and biological adhesion processes, which are often involved in the moving of cells toward a diseased area for immune response. At the same time, there was a lowering of activity of genes associated with cell growth and cell maintenance.

Trade-offs - Infection

"Potential trade-offs during infection may affect...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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