Coral reefs are essential ecosystems, yet they’re under attack by rising ocean temperatures. Rising ocean temperatures have led to coral bleaching events causing it to turn white and die; yet some coral can remain more resilient to stress than others and researchers recently identified why. After studying various color morphs of Acropora tenuis (Flowerpot Coral), researchers identified pigment genes responsible for controlling color variation were all present yet only some were active – suggesting this variation might serve as a protection mechanism against climate change.
Coral green is an energetic hue with warm tones derived from yellow and orange with subtle undertones of apricot, creating an easy complement with other hues for art projects or home decor.
Coral green is an ideal color to set a tropical and fun vibe, pairing well with other warm tones like Tiffany blue and teal for an energetic yet soothing effect. Additionally, coral green goes great with neutrals or darker tones like navy blue or chocolate brown for an earthier appeal.
Coral is a type of cnidarian, an aquatic invertebrate animal which lives in the sea and maintains an intimate symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae algae, providing essential nutrition. Coral polyps produce protective skeletons which provide structure, protection, and the foundation of coral reefs.
Coral contains over 85 fluorescent pigments that give them their beautiful hues, enabling them to absorb light of one wavelength and emit (fluoresce) another hue. These fluorescent proteins, known as chromoproteins, can appear cyan, green, red or yellow depending on the species of coral; while reflective proteins known as chromoproteins may provide camouflage by reflecting other wavelengths into various shades and becoming visible later.
Researchers conducted their study by measuring gene expression levels of five types of GFP, three types of RFP, two types of CFP, and seven ChrP in coral showing yellow-green color phenotypes. After that step, scientists analyzed pigment production from each coral in order to pinpoint specific amino acid sequences controlling fluorescence of each protein fluorescence.
Scientists discovered that amino acids were present in all chromoproteins studied, yet some positions near fluorescence maxima were more crucial to certain chromoproteins than others. According to researchers, variations in coral color could be explained by differences between amino acid positions – something they plan to explore further by investigating genetic mechanisms responsible for controlling it and designing new chromoproteins that may protect coral from climate change and environmental influences. Their work was published in G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.