Genetic mechanisms that confer stress susceptibility or resilience to corals was determined using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) technology. It was discovered that differences in the thermal tolerance of corals correlate with differences in the way that these species deploy their stress response tool kit when subjected to elevated temperature. This project is the first to capture the gene expression changes that accompany thermal stress exposure in corals from Philippine waters. The data generated (which includes reference transcriptomes for Acropora digitifera, Favites colemani, Montipora digitata, and Seriatopora caliendrum) differential gene expression analysis, and comparison of stress response gene families which are significant contributions to the global database of coral and symbiont sequences. These sequence resources will be useful for developing tools to monitor reef health and for screening for determinants of resilience.
(Production of corals: SubProgram B, Dr. Cecilia G. Conaco /UPD MSI)