The answer to what's killing the world's coral reefs may be found in a tiny chip that fits into the palm of your hand.
Scientists at UC Merced and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are using an innovative DNA array called the PhyloChip to catalog the microbes that live among coral in the tropical waters of the coast of Puerto Rico. As the coral becomes diseased, the microbial population it supports grows more diverse.
"We have only recently realized how microbes, and microbial diversity, play an important role in the health of coral reefs," said UC Merced's Shinichi Sunagawa, a graduate student in the School of Natural Sciences who helped conduct the research. "The PhyloChip offers a great way to catalog the microbiota associated with coral reefs around the world."
4 years ago