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International Journal of Hydrology Research

March 2019, Volume 4, 1, pp 13-15

Purple-Blue Pigmentation Production as a Sign of Immune Response by Bleached Corals to Avoid Stress Caused by Elevated Sea Surface Temperature

CH. Ramesh

,

S. Koushik

,

T. Shunmugaraj

,

M.V. Ramana Murthy

CH. Ramesh 1 ,

S. Koushik 1 T. Shunmugaraj 1 M.V. Ramana Murthy 4

  1. National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) NCCR Field Office, Tamil Nadu, India. 1

  2. NCCR, Pallikaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. 4

Pages: 13-15

DOI: 10.18488/journal.108.2019.41.13.15

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Article History:

Received: 16 August, 2019
Revised: 19 September, 2019
Accepted: 22 October, 2019
Published: 26 November, 2019


Abstract:

Coral reefs are extensively studied around the world with regard to their taxonomy, distribution, diversity, bleaching events, diseases, conservation, and restoration aspects. However, exhibition of blue pigmentation by corals under certain stressed condition such as high temperature and bleaching events has not been widely investigated. In the present study, during a massive bleaching event of coral reefs in 21 islands of Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, corals such as Acropora sp. and Turbinaria sp. and some other encrusting corals have displayed purple blue pigmentation in response to high temperature and to avoid complete bleaching of their food supplying symbiotic zooxanthellae. This documentation from this environment is being reported for the first time and thus further immunological and genomic studies are required to study the variation in the zooxanthellae in bleached and non-bleached corals as well as blue pigment showing and non-pigmented corals. The compound responsible for blue pigmentation is needed to be analyzed further which could be employed for other industrial and biomedical applications.
Contribution/ Originality
This study documents the purple blue pigmentation displayed by corals such as Acropora sp. and Turbinaria sp. and some other encrusting corals in response to high temperature. This is a sign of adaptation of corals to avoid stress and survive from massive bleaching event occurred in Gulf of Mannar, India.

Keywords:

Acropora, Porites, Blue pigmentation, Bleaching, Temperature, Gulf of Mannar.

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Reference:

[1]          C. Ramesh, S. Koushik, T. Shunmugaraj, and M. V. R. Murthy, "Factors affecting coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar," Journal of Wildlife Research, vol. 7, pp. 16-22, 2019.

[2]          C. V. Palmer, C. K. Modi, and L. D. Mydlarz, "Coral fluorescent proteins as antioxidants," Plos One, vol. 4, p. e7298, 2009. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0007298.

[3]          C. D’Angelo, E. Smith, F. Oswald, J. Burt, D. Tchernov, and J. Wiedenmann, "Locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals as detected by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like pigments," Coral Reefs, vol. 31, pp. 1045-1056, 2012. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-012-0926-8.

[4]          L. Bongiorni and B. Rinkevich, "The pink-blue spot syndrome in Acropora eurystoma (Eilat, Red Sea): A possible marker of stress?," Zoology, vol. 108, pp. 247-256, 2005. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.zool.2005.05.002.

[5]          E. G. Smith, C. D’Angelo, A. Salih, and J. Wiedenmann, "Screening by coral green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like chromoproteins supports a role in photoprotection of zooxanthellae," Coral Reefs, vol. 32, pp. 463-474, 2013. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-012-0994-9.

[6]          R. Sassi, C. F. C. Sassi, K. Gorlach-Lira, and W. K. Fitt, "Pigmentation changes in Siderastrea spp. During bleaching events in the costal reefs of Northeastern Brazil," Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, vol. 43, pp. 176-185, 2015. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol43-issue1-fulltext-15.

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Funding:

This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Acknowledgement:

Authors are thankful to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi for the financial support. We thank field assistants for the field assistance.

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