Sea-quence! Saudi, Aussie experts unite to save coral



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 10 November 2012

Last update 10 November 2012 2:33 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

SYDNEY: Researchers from Australia and Saudi Arabia launched a project Thursday which they hope will help them understand the genetic makeup of corals and how they react to climate change.
Reefs around the world are under threat from bleaching due to climate change, as well as storms and predatory starfish, and scientists want to learn more about coral resilience to help head off further destruction.
To help achieve this, they have launched an international sequencing project, Sea-quence, backed by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, which will explore the genomes of 10 coral species.
It hopes to uncover core genetic data for Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea corals and use the information to help protect them from climate change.
“Climate change places coral reefs at risk through warmer water temperatures and more acidic oceans,” said Great Barrier Reef Foundation chairman John Schubert.
“Unfortunately our knowledge of coral resilience, their capacity to adapt and the circumstances under which they can adapt to climate change is limited.
“Through Sea-quence we can start to bridge this critical knowledge gap by generating data on a wide scale across the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea.”
Russell Reichelt, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said that presently only two coral species in the world have had their DNA sequenced.
“This research project will sequence the genomes of 10 coral species — providing five times the data currently available and identify which genes help corals adapt to climate change, and which species contain these genes,” he said.
Last month, a key study found that the Great Barrier Reef — the world’s largest — had lost more than half its coral cover in the past 27 years and warned it could halve again by 2022 if trends continued.
The study said cyclone intensities were increasing as the world’s oceans warmed and bleaching deaths would “almost certainly increase” as a result of climate changes.
Xabier Irigoyen, director of the Red Sea Research Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, will be heading up the effort to sequence the Red Sea species.
“Red Sea corals live in extreme conditions compared to those on the Great Barrier Reef and comparative information between these will enhance our understanding of how and why some corals are more resilient,” he said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: Riyadh and Phnom Penh have signed a labor deal to recruit domestics and general workers from Cambodia.Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and his Cambodian counterpart Ait Samana signed the agreement.Al-Haqabani said the Kingdom is keen on open...
Jeddah: The Criminal Court in Jeddah has sentenced a man to nine months in jail for beating his wife and insulting her by calling her “stubborn and ignorant.” The man has also been required to make a written pledge not to go near his wife, while the...
MUNICH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women on Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars.“When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a relig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...

Stay Connected

Facebook