[Coral-List] Porites genome

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Fri Sep 19 10:51:59 EDT 2003

Hi All: 
I have been following the thread for selecting a scleractinian coral species for the coral genome project, and just wanted to point out that the idea that one coral species can be a representative lab rat for physiological etc studies of "corals" is flawed by not considering the evolutionary history of extant corals. This is not a monophyletic group from what I've read. Furthermore, the different families can be so totally different ecologically and physiologically (and obviously genetically, as was detailed by Craig Downs) that I do not buy that results from one species can be extrapolated to responses of species of different groups. While we have to start somewhere with a single species, there is no one species that is going to be representative of corals in general. With time and as $$ becomes available we need to do as many others as is fundable (hopefully selecting for each new initiative an example from a different family). While I work only in the Caribbean and would love to see one of the Montastraeas or Acropora palmata worked on, most reefs (and corals) are in the Pacific region, so I think it best to start with a species from that region. Furthermore, some of the criteria that Craig suggested for the selected species (ease of culture, shipping survivability) are more important in terms of getting as much generic benefit from the genetic results than are the ecological or regional importance of the species. 
Alina Szmant

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