Genetic markers for antioxidant capacity in a reef-building coral

Jin, Young K,, Lundgren, Petra, Lutz, Adrian, Raina, Jean-Baptiste, Howells, Emily J., Paley, Allison S., Willis, Bette L., and Van Oppen, Madeleine J.H. (2016) Genetic markers for antioxidant capacity in a reef-building coral. Science Advances, 2. e1500842. pp. 1-7.

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The current lack of understanding of the genetic basis under lying environmental stress tolerance in reef-building corals impairs the development of new management approaches to confronting the global demise of coral reefs. On the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), an approximately 51% decline in coral cover occurred over the period 1985 – 2012.

We conducted a gene-by-environment association analysis across 12° atitude on the GBR,as wel as both insitu and laboratory genotype-by-phenotype association analyses. These analyses allowed us to identify alleles at two genetic loci that account for differences in environmental stress tolerance and antioxidant capacity in the common coral Acropora millepora. The effect size for antioxidant capacity was considerable and biologically relevant (32.5 and 14.6% for the two loci). Antioxidant capacity is a critical component of stress tolerance because a multitude of environmental stressors cause increased cellular levels of reactive oxygen species. Our findings provide the first step toward the development of novel coral reef management approaches, such as spatial mapping of stress tolerance for use in marine protected area design, identification of stress-tolerant colonies for assisted migration, and marker-assisted selective breeding to create more tolerant genotypes for restoration of denuded reef.

Item ID: 48428
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2375-2548
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2016 © The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).

Funders: Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, AIMS@JCU
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 00:14
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 60%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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