Ocean warming has caused destruction of up to half of the world’s coral reefs, but some corals have remained resistant to high temperatures. Finding the mechanism for that resistance could open a window to restoring reefs. This project uses a novel approach that alters coral physiology with a battery of drugs developed for cancer and cell technology research.
High throughput testing of thousands of chemicals using a new coral tissue model will pinpoint the cellular mechanisms that circumvent bleaching at high temperatures. Selection for those specific mechanisms in current populations of corals will help restore future reefs with enhanced heat tolerance.
Stephen Palumbi (Biology)
Bo Wang (Bioengineering)
Yunzhi Peter Wang (Medicine)