Researchers provide new insights on coral bleaching

June 22, 2016

Reef-building corals have a symbiotic relationship with Symbiodinium algae, and environmental stressors that cause algae to be expelled from reefs can give rise to the phenomenon known as coral bleaching.

New research indicates that singlet oxygen, which is a , may play an important role in triggering the release of algae from coral tissue when occurs.

"The findings may help research efforts aimed at protecting reefs, which help support many marine species," said Dr. Imre Vass, senior author of the New Phytologist study.

Explore further: Genetic secrets of algae provide vital insight into coral bleaching

More information: Ateeq Ur Rehman et al. sp. cells produce light-induced intra- and extracellular singlet oxygen, which mediates photodamage of the photosynthetic apparatus and has the potential to interact with the animal host in coral symbiosis, New Phytologist (2016). DOI: 10.1111/nph.14056

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