[Coral-List] Porite genome 2

Robert Buddemeier buddrw at kgs.ku.edu
Tue Sep 16 12:44:20 EDT 2003

I have been following this discussion with some interest.  Since I know 
relatively little about the potential application of genomics, this may 
be an ignorant question, but  ----

What good will it do us, in the larger sense, to get the genome of a 
threatened or endangered or or regionally local  or endemic species?  
Wouldn't interpreting the significance of those results (in terms of 
vunerability or survival or distribution) require a lot of other genetic 
information before you could start to reap the benefits? 

It seems to me that a preferable strategy would be to go for a widely 
distributed, cosmopolitan species and than look for significant 
differences in the more specialized or localized or sensitive species.  
In that sense, Porites lobata  (or one of the widely distributed 
Indo-Pacific acroporids or pocilloporids) would seem to me to be as good 
a choice as any, although the thorny question of species identification 
in the morphological and environmental senses will certainly rear its 
head whatever you choose to look at.

This would seem to me to put the project into a global, longer-term reef 
research and preservation framework.  I have pretty severe reservations 
about the short-term potential of  genome research to come up with a 
silver bullet that will fend off localized extinctions or reef collapses.

What am I missing about the objectives and potential applications?

Bob Buddemeier

Andy Bruckner wrote:

>Hi folks,
>I would like to add my 2 cents to this issue. Not sure if it is too late, but
>I would side with Mikhail.  It seems to me that (if it is a Caribbean species)
>one of the  Caribbean Montastraea annularis complex species would be our first
>choice, given that this is the most important coral today on Caribbean reefs
>and it is affected by multiple diseases.  My second choice would be Acropora
>palmata for the same reasons.
>Mikhail Matz wrote:
>>Dear Craig and all,
>>The Porites candidate came as a surprize to me. My
>>support would be for Montastraea (since my own
>>molecular work is on M.cavernosa, and by the way, I
>>never encountered the technical difficulties that
>>Craig refers to), or Acropora. These two seem to me
>>much more advanced in molecular terms than Porites.
>>I do believe that having a coral genome sequenced
>>would greatly benefit all of us and science in
>>general, however, it is critical to select a proper
>>species. I would be very glad to hear opinion of the
>>list on this matter.
>>In fact, I heard rumors of a couple other projects
>>started that would lead to coral genomic studies, but
>>nothing definite. Would be great to know for sure what
>>is going on (or going to be going on) in this area!
>>Mike Matz
>>Whitney lab, University of Florida
>>Note: forwarded message attached.
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Robert W. Buddemeier, Ph.D.
Kansas Geological Survey
1930 Constant Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66047 USA
ph 1-785-864-2112, fax 1-785-864-5317
email  buddrw at ku.edu

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