Newly discovered algae protects coral from warming water

February 27, 2015 7:20 PM

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Newly discovered algae protects coral from warming water

Researchers at the University of Southampton and the New York University Abu Dhabi have identified a special symbiotic algae in the Persian Gulf that protects coral among the warmest reefs in the world. Scientists named the new species Symbiodinium thermophilum.

Most corals get their color from tiny symbiotic algae that embed themselves in the invertebrates' tissue. The coral provides shelter and nutrients, while the algae secrete a sugar vital to the coral's health. But warming ocean waters often instigate bleaching events, whereby algae leave their hosts ...

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