[Coral-List] Pink secretion on dead corals

Michael Risk riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Wed Jul 20 19:28:28 EDT 2005

Hello James, Albert.

Yes, fungi are everywhere. That they bore into corals, of course, has
been known for decades. When we were able to culture and identify some
of the common forms (Kendrick et al., long before ejournals) we were
amazed to discover that they are common terrestrial forms, somewhat
like the ones lurking in the back of your fridge even as we speak. We
hypothesized that they had invaded the oceans via beachrock-of course,
they could also have originated in the ocean, and invaded the land...

I recall that culturing them was not trivial. We had to hold them on
minimal media for weeks, and then they erupted out of the skeletal
chips, to the surface. So their ability to appear under stress
conditions would seem not surprising.

I suspect that their activities are involved in some of the in vitro
coral-culture results-in our climate work, we have also found them to
affect trace-element distributions in corals(Sinclair et al., AGU
Hawaii meeting 2004). A very widespread, active group, overlooked by

Better clean that fridge now...


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