[Coral-List] ICRS 2020: Session on temperate corals as model organisms

Koty Sharp kotysharp at gmail.com
Mon Jul 29 17:24:15 UTC 2019

Hello all:

Sean Grace, Hanny Rivera, Randi Rotjan, Sam Vohsen, and I are co-chairing a
session on temperate corals as model organisms for coral research at ICRS in
July 2020. Abstract deadline is September 1. Looking forward to seeing you
all in Bremen! Link to the session program:

Our session falls within Theme 4 - "Microbial ecology, holobionts and model
organisms" - and is described below.

*QUESTION: How can we leverage cnidarian model systems to improve our
understanding of symbiosis and the processes driving coral reef decline?*
Global change, and the resultant disruption of symbiosis and mass
bleaching, is threatening coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Recent research
efforts have identified several cnidarian species with broad thermal ranges
and/or variable states of symbiosis with Symbiodiniaceae as excellent model
systems for addressing specific questions about the ecology and physiology
of coral symbiosis. Some of these species, including calcifying corals of
the genera Astrangia and Oculina, and the anemones Nematostella and
Aiptasia, are rapidly improving our understanding of symbiotic
interactions, elucidating how relationships between cnidarian hosts and
their microbiomes (including prokaryotes, fungi, Symbiodiniaceae, etc.)
influence bleaching, calcification, growth, behavior, nutrition,
reproduction, immune response, and thermal adaptation. These model systems
allow the disentanglement of host and symbiont processes that drive
response and resilience to environmental change. The aim of this session is
to explore how cnidarian model systems can inform our understanding of
symbiosis in the coral holobiont and the factors that drive dysbiosis,
leading to tropical coral decline. We encourage submissions that utilize
temperate, facultatively symbiotic, asymbiotic, and/or cold-water
cnidarians to address these questions from the host, symbiont, or holobiont
perspective. This session offers a platform for the recently formalized
collaborative groups centered on emerging model cnidarian systems, but also
for a broader audience of reef researchers interested in re-examining the
fundamentals of coral symbiosis biology.


Koty Sharp
Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Marine Biology & Environmental Science
Roger Williams University
1 Old Ferry Road
Marine & Natural Sciences Building
Bristol, RI 02809
kotysharp at gmail.com
Twitter: @Sharpkoty

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