Important New Discovery in Coral Reproduction

Written by on September 1, 2012 in Marine Life

A research team from National Taiwan Ocean University has discovered how corals reproduce without any real organs.

The mechanisms that initiate growth of reproductive cells in coral were previously unknown.  The team, led by Chang Ching-fong, professor of aquaculture and President of the University, confirmed the presence of a vasa gene found in the reproductive cells of corals and they have successfully cloned that marker gene.

This information will be help scientists artificially cultivate coral as a way to rebuild damaged reefs and potentially restore endangered species.

“By finding the vasa gene, locating the reproductive cells of the corals and understanding the control mechanisms of corals’ reproductive cells, we may be able to further control the growth of corals,” explained Chang.

You can read more about the study here:

You can read more about the vasa gene in the research article published in PLoS ONE here:

Coral outcrop.  Photo Credit: Toby Hudson.

Coral outcrop. Photo Credit: Toby Hudson.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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