Pacific Coral Reef Institute

A past IRCP candidate, Sarah Davies (2013) publishes in Science !

Sarah Davies came at the CRIOBE Moorea, in 2013, thanks to a IRCP grant and worked on coral genetic (more details here).

In June 2015, 6 authors, included Sarah, published in Science :


Genomic determinants of coral heat tolerance across latitudes (link to

Abstract: As global warming continues, reef-building corals could avoid local population declines through “genetic rescue” involving exchange of heat-tolerant genotypes across latitudes, but only if latitudinal variation in thermal tolerance is heritable. Here, we show an up–to–10-fold increase in odds of survival of coral larvae under heat stress when their parents come from a warmer lower-latitude location. Elevated thermal tolerance was associated with heritable differences in expression of oxidative, extracellular, transport, and mitochondrial functions that indicated a lack of prior stress. Moreover, two genomic regions strongly responded to selection for thermal tolerance in interlatitudinal crosses. These results demonstrate that variation in coral thermal tolerance across latitudes has a strong genetic basis and could serve as raw material for natural selection.

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