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Coral reef in Micronesia

Symbiotic Survival

Scientists have long known that corals have symbiotic relationships with algae, called zooxanthellae, which use sunlight to make food for coral animals in exchange for a home. Microbes may also play a role in coral health and survival, delivering nutrients to corals, and even protecting them from some diseases. WHOI microbiologist Amy Apprill is analyzing and comparing the microbiomes on diseased corals found in the Red Sea, Florida Keys and the Carribbean, to healthy corals found in places like Micronesia. (Photo by Luis Lamar and Maryann Morin, Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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