Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Viruses linked to algae that control coral health
by Staff Writers
Corvallis, OR (SPX) Jul 18, 2012


Coral abundance has declined about 80 percent in the Caribbean Sea in the past 30-40 years, and about one-third of all corals around the world are threatened with extinction.

Scientists have discovered two viruses that appear to infect the single-celled microalgae that reside in corals and are important for coral growth and health, and they say the viruses could play a role in the serious decline of coral ecosystems around the world.

These viruses, including an RNA virus never before isolated from a coral, have been shown for the first time to clearly be associated with these microalgae called Symbiodinium. If it's proven that they are infecting those algae and causing disease, it will be another step toward understanding the multiple threats that coral reefs are facing.

The research was published in the ISME Journal, in work supported by the National Science Foundation.

"We're way behind in our knowledge of how viral disease may affect coral health," said Adrienne Correa, a researcher with the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University. "If viral infection is causing some bleaching, it could be important in the death of corals and contribute to reef decline. This potential threat from viruses is just starting to be recognized."

Corals co-exist with these algae in a symbiotic relationship, scientists say, in which the algae provide energy to the coral, and contribute to the construction of reefs. The coral in turn offers a place for the algae to live and provides nutrients for it.

Corals and viruses have evolved along with their resident algae for millions of years. They have persisted through previous climate oscillations, and the presence of viruses within corals or their algae doesn't necessarily indicate they are affecting coral colony health. If viruses are causing disease or bleaching of colonies, it's also unknown whether this is happening now more than in the past.

"Corals are known to face various environmental threats, such a warming temperatures, competition and pollution," Correa said. "Some of the environmental changes of the past were likely more gradual and allowed the coral and its associates more time to adapt.

"The stresses challenging coral reefs now are more intense and frequent," she said. "This may mean viruses cause more problems for corals and their algae now than they did historically."

In continued research at OSU, scientists will inoculate Symbiodinium with the viruses and try to prove they are causing actual disease. If the viruses are killing the algae, scientists said, it could have significant implications for coral reef health and survival. There are almost two dozen known diseases that are affecting coral, and scientists still do not know the cause of most of them.

Coral abundance has declined about 80 percent in the Caribbean Sea in the past 30-40 years, and about one-third of all corals around the world are threatened with extinction.

.


Related Links
Oregon State University
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Call for sanctions in mackerel war 'propaganda': Reykjavik
Reykjavik (AFP) July 17, 2012
Iceland on Tuesday dismissed calls by Ireland's and other EU countries for sanctions against the country and the Faroe Islands for over-fishing of mackerel as "propaganda". "Essentially it's propaganda," Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told AFP. Backed by France, Portugal and Spain, Ireland asked the European Commission Monday for information on potential trade m ... read more


WATER WORLD
Two China workers killed in Singapore tunnel accident

A 'Phoenix' rises from Haiti quake ashes

Japan govt, media colluded on nuclear: Nobel winner

Japan pushes ASEAN to lift export restrictions

WATER WORLD
Heat is Source of 'Pioneer Anomaly'

To Extinguish a Hot Flame, DARPA Studied Cold Plasma

Sailing with nerves of glass

Scientists from northern Germany produce the lightest material in the world

WATER WORLD
Faroe Islands blast threat of EU sanctions in mackerel war

Viruses linked to algae that control coral health

Call for sanctions in mackerel war 'propaganda': Reykjavik

Global warming harms lakes

WATER WORLD
Greenland glacier loses ice

The challenges facing the vulnerable Antarctic

5.5-mile-long landslide spotted in Alaska

Antarctica faces major threats in the 21st century, says Texas A and M researcher

WATER WORLD
Helping pigs to digest phosphorus

Glyphosate-resistant 'superweeds' may be less susceptible to diseases

Pioneering self-contained 'smart village' offers world model for rural poverty relief

A shortcut to sustainable fisheries

WATER WORLD
Japan warily eyes typhoon

Typhoon dumps rain on flood-weary Japan

Flood-battered Japan warily eyes typhoon

Hurricane Fabio, in Pacific, 'likely' to weaken

WATER WORLD
Sudan rebels claim Darfur helicopter shoot-down

Nigeria increases defense spending

Afro-Japanese fusion music puzzles traditionalists

Hundreds flee Nigerian villages ahead of army raid: official

WATER WORLD
Endangered languages get a Google protection plan

Paisley Caves yield 13,000-year old Western Stemmed points, more human DNA

Pregnant new CEO for Yahoo! stirs US debate on working moms

New Au. sediba fossils discovered in rock




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement