Coral Reefs News and Discussions

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Coral Reefs News and Discussions

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First Immortal Cell Line Cultured for Reef-Building Corals

Amanda Heidt
Jul 1, 2021

Corals are poster children for the harms of climate change, with vibrant reefs withered to bleached barrens as temperatures climb and waters become more acidic. Even as scientists work to restore reefs, they have long lacked stable cell lines for probing corals’ cellular and molecular workings. While cells can be isolated for a time, they inevitably fail to thrive. Establishing so-called immortal lines in the lab would allow researchers to investigate critical questions about why corals bleach, what mediates their symbiotic relationships with microalgae, and how they form their skeletons.

In search of a solution, a team of scientists in Japan, including comparative genomicist Noriyuki Satoh at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, collected adults of the reef-building Acropora tenuis from around Okinawa and Ishigaki islands. Rather than isolate cells from these adults, the researchers induced the corals to spawn and produce planulae, tiny larvae roughly the size and shape of sprinkles on ice cream.

The reason for using planulae, Satoh says, is twofold: planular cells are primed to proliferate more readily than adult cells, and larval cells lack a microbiome. While coral-associated microalgae, viruses, fungi, and bacteria are essential for adult corals’ wellbeing, they can contaminate and take over cell lines. By starting with planulae, “we are very sure that the cultured cells originated from corals” rather than their associated microbes, Satoh says.

Read more: https://www.the-scientist.com/modus-ope ... rals-68858


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Re: Coral Reefs News and Discussions

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"Take it easy, nothing matters in the end."
– William Shatner
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