Corals survive the heat with bacterial help

13 August, 2021

Treating corals with a probiotic cocktail of beneficial bacteria increases survival after a bleaching event, according to new research. This approach could be administered in advance of a predicted heat wave to help corals recover from high sea temperatures.

Climate change is increasing the temperatures of the oceans, which disrupts the relationship between corals and their symbiotic photosynthetic algae and causes corals to bleach, in some cases eventually leading to their death. KAUST researchers have proposed that manipulating the coral microbiome might enhance their stress tolerance by using beneficial microorganisms for corals, or BMC.

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Image: KAUST researchers are exploring the use of probiotic bacteria to boost the survival of corals after bleaching events.
© 2021 KAUST; Morgan Bennett Smith.