The unique immunity in a common coral species could save coral reefs

Scientists have discovered that a common coral species can deal with the stresses of climate change, and could be key in restoring coral reefs.

New research from the University of Miami has found that cauliflower coral (Pocillopora damicornis), a common coral species, has evolved heightened immunity to deal with stresses caused by climate change.

Cauliflower coral is said to have a unique genome linked to increased immune function, allowing it to adapt to harsher environments, brought on by ocean acidification and climate change.

“The study shows that this is an important coral with a very complex and unique immune system, which may explain why it is able to survive in so many different locations,” says lead author Dr. Ross Cunning.

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