Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Bacteria Turns Bad

This article ties in with the presentation that i will be presenting on next week. Coral bleaching is the whitening of coral, from the loss of their symbiont. Coral bleaching is an increasing problem due to the increased water temperatures. Coral reefs are very important to the human economy and to a vast diversity of animals.

This article talks about the bacteria that live on coral reefs, in normal conditions these bacteria produce a mucus layer that protects the corals. This mucus layer prevents the corals from getting infections from bacteria. However, with the increasing temperature of the water the mucus layer breaks down and the good bacteria are replaced with pathogenic (bad) bacteria. This model has also shown that once the water temperatures return to normal the pathogenic bacteria remain on the corals. The mechanism is not quite understood to explain the pathogenic bacteria remaining on the corals when temperatures return to normal. The water temperatures have been increasing over the past years and many steps need to be taken to improve coral reef habitats before they are lost forever.

Good Bacteria Turns Bad

2 comments:

  1. Hopefully the mucus layer can eventually be replaced and the pathogenic bacteria can be prevented from further infection of the coral. It would be horrible if the coral reefs were destroyed and gone forever.

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  2. I read an article recently which discussed the loss of coral reef habitats. It stated coral was being disintegrated by the increasing acidity of the ocean. I wonder how this correlates with bacteria.

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