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Coral reproduction after a bleaching event: Is sexual or asexual reproduction more common? A genetic study of Acropora hyacinthus

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Title:Coral reproduction after a bleaching event: Is sexual or asexual reproduction more common? A genetic study of Acropora hyacinthus
Authors:Sifrit, Allie
Contributors:Karl, Stephan A. (advisor)
Marine Biology (department)
Date Issued:Dec 2015
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:Coral can use a variety of modes of reproduction including sexual and asexual, or both. The mode or degree of asexual reproduction can have significant impacts on the genetic variation and long term stability of a coral reef. A genetic study reveals that in Palau the coral Acropora hyacinthus does not rely on asexual reproduction as a means of recovery after a mortality event, evidenced by the absence of clonal colonies. Microsatellites in the nuclear DNA of coral tissue were sequenced in order to identify clones in the population by comparing microsatellite lengths. Using microsatellite sequences to compare genotypes is a novel approach since traditional studies do not analyze the actual DNA sequences, but rather obtain the total length of the PCR product for sample comparison. Sequencing amplified microsatellite DNA has the potential to increase the accuracy of microsatellite studies, and allows for a more in depth analysis of the genetic composition of these corals. To generate genotypes based on DNA sequences, an analytical pipeline was developed to identify, isolate, and compare microsatellites. Two methods for microsatellite identification were applied and compared to determine which was more efficient with a high level of accuracy, one by hand and the other an automated process. Apart from comparing methods, this research aimed to connect the mode of reproduction after a mortality event to a potential management strategy. Protection should be increased around the coral reefs with a high occurrence of spawning corals to protect the progeny and allow for reef recovery
Pages/Duration:37 pages
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for Marine Biology

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