Pacific Coral Reef Institute

Formation « Development of a corals database »

Formation « Development of  a corals database »

Despite what one might think, the scleractinian fauna of French Polynesia is still imperfectly known, mainly because of the generally very localized nature of the crops and the lack of detailed taxonomic study. There are so many deficiencies, on a geographical scale in our general knowledge of the coral fauna. It should also be emphasized that our methodologies related to coral reefs studies are evolving, with a large development of molecular approaches and there is a real lack of genetic reference.
In this context, the CRIOBE and IRCP, in collaboration with M. Pichon, have begun to develop a database of scleractinian of French Polynesia. The goal of the training (October 15th to November 3rd 2012) was to establish a database of scleractinian of French Polynesia. This training was attended by five people from CRIOBE (V. Berteaux-Lecellier, CR1 CNRS L. Hedouin CR2 CNRS, Mr. Nugues, MCF EPHE, USR3278, P. Bosserelle, contract Engineer, USR3278, Y. Chancerelle, IE . EPHE).

The training was organized as follows:

  1. make an inventory of scleractinian across French Polynesia (Austral, Tuamotu, Leeward Islands, Gambier, Marquesas),
  2. to collect tissue samples from each of the listed corals to extract genetic material,
  3. produce as and when a data sheet for each of the corals collected.

The whole worktasks lead to the provision of a « corailothèque » (collection of samples and storage of the corresponding DNA) to CRIOIBE / IRCP. This work started in Moorea, with 52 species already identified and 20 others requiring further research (electron microscopy, compared with reference species) to achieve identification. The 52 identified species belong to 25 different genera and more than 10 families of scleractinian corals. These raw data will soon be synthesized as a booklet compiling the ID and description of each species of coral of Moorea.

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