Physiological and proteogenomic traits 

Coral colonies from the same population are used to determine if individual heat tolerance correlates to their biochemical performance. For In order to achieve this, we have collected and analysed samples from Acropora digitifera colonies collected in the reef (Palau) during different seasons (June and September 2019) and while colonies where exposed to a mild heat stress (October 2020). We are studying various physiological variables in colonies with distinctive heat tolerances such as: i) total proteins and lipids, ii) protein carbonyls and biomass (AFDW per dry weight), iii) fatty acids and alcohols compositions, and iv) pigment content and total antioxidant capacity.  We are also characterising the symbiont and microbiome community of these same coral colonies for each sampling time. Additionally, we are implementing modern high throughput research technologies, i.e. proteomics, to identify proteins and molecular processes/ pathways associated with heat stress response. With this integrated multimethod approach, we hope to gain deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved in  the way corals are either dealing with or preparing for heat stress. This may become crucial to assist the natural adaptation of corals, for example by allowing more informed selection of breeding colonies and potentially development of biomarkers, enabling quicker, cheaper and less invasive, population scale screening

© 2018-2022 ERC Grant

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