An underwater image of a diver in black gear next to a coral reef in deeply blue waters
UC Davis Assistant Professor Anya Brown dives in a coral reef in Little Cayman as part of a research study. (Julie Meyer/University of Florida)

Corals Saving Corals

Disease-Resistant Corals Can Help ‘Rescue’ Vulnerable Ones

Under the right living arrangement, disease-resistant corals can help “rescue” corals that are more vulnerable to disease, found a study from the University of California, Davis, that monitored a disease outbreak at a coral nursery in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. 

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that when people grow corals of the same genotype — or genetic makeup — together, those corals are more vulnerable to disease than corals that grow among a mixture of genotypes. The study further found that some vulnerable corals can be “rescued” by resistant genotypes.


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