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A Comparative Transcriptomics Approach To Understanding Calcification In Corals
A Comparative Transcriptomics Approach To Understanding Calcification In Corals
Submitted on 22 Sep 2014

Roberson, L. and J.J.C. Rosenthal
University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras and University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences
This poster was presented at ASLO Hawaii February 2014
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Poster Abstract
Calcification in corals has been extensively studied yet surprisingly little is known about the physiological mechanism underlying this critical process. Here we use a comparative transcriptomics approach on a weedy, resilient species, Porites astreoides, to identify genes that may be involved in ion transport during the calcification process. Larvae were collected from adult corals using traps in La Parguera, PR in June and July 2012 and transferred to 1L filtered seawater for settlement. Once settled larvae began producing skeletons (3 days post-settlement), total RNA was extracted from 20-50 free-swimming larvae and 20-50 settled larvae and used to make polyA+ libraries for the Illumina HiSeq platform. A total of 4 x 108 paired end reads were assembled into a transcriptome and annotated using an established pipeline ( Differential gene expression analysis between the two groups of larvae revealed specific sodium bicarbonate transporter and carbonic anhydrase isoforms that may participate in calcification. Future studies will functionally characterize transporters that deliver ions to the site of calcification and assess the impact of temperature, acidification, and photosynthesis on their activity.

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