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Coral Evolution in Action Image 3
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Coral Evolution in Action (Image 3)

November 24, 2010
Acropora millepora on the reef at Magnetic Island, Australia.

With ocean temperatures and acidity levels increasing more every year, coral reefs are rapidly declining. Mikhail Matz, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, is monitoring this process at the genomic level. Matz, an expert on coral DNA, says that corals have a substantial potential to evolve and he will watch this process very closely using next-generation gene sequencing devices to study the coral's genetic makeup.

In 2009, using the "next-gen" sequencers at UT-Austin, Matz and his team sequenced the entire transcriptome of the common Pacific coral--one of the first successful full-transcriptome sequences for a non-model organism. To learn more about this research, see the UT-Austin news story, "Catching Evolution in Action." [Image 3 of 3 related images. Back to Image 1.] (Date of Image: October 2004)