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dc.contributor.authorHowells, Emily J.
dc.contributor.authorAbrego, David
dc.contributor.authorLiew, Yi Jin
dc.contributor.authorBurt, John A.
dc.contributor.authorMeyer, Eli
dc.contributor.authorAranda, Manuel
dc.date.accessioned2021-08-23T13:58:28Z
dc.date.available2021-08-23T13:58:28Z
dc.date.issued2021-08-20
dc.identifier.citationHowells, E. J., Abrego, D., Liew, Y. J., Burt, J. A., Meyer, E., & Aranda, M. (2021). Enhancing the heat tolerance of reef-building corals to future warming. Science Advances, 7(34), eabg6070. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abg6070
dc.identifier.issn2375-2548
dc.identifier.pmid34417178
dc.identifier.doi10.1126/sciadv.abg6070
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/670733
dc.description.abstractReef-building corals thriving in extreme thermal environments may provide genetic variation that can assist the evolution of populations to rapid climate warming. However, the feasibility and scale of genetic improvements remain untested despite ongoing population declines from recurrent thermal stress events. Here, we show that corals from the hottest reefs in the world transfer sufficient heat tolerance to a naïve population sufficient to withstand end-of-century warming projections. Heat survival increased up to 84% when naïve mothers were selectively bred with fathers from the hottest reefs because of strong heritable genetic effects. We identified genomic loci associated with tolerance variation that were enriched for heat shock proteins, oxidative stress, and immune functions. Unexpectedly, several coral families exhibited survival rates and genomic associations deviating from origin predictions, including a few naïve purebreds with exceptionally high heat tolerance. Our findings highlight previously uncharacterized enhanced and intrinsic potential of coral populations to adapt to climate warming.
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank G. Vaughan, D. McParland, and A. Mihala for assistance with experimental setup and J. Rowe for assistance with bioinformatics. Permits for coral collection were provided by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Fujairah and Dibba municipalities. Research was supported by the High Performance Computing Center and Marine Biology Core Technology Platform at New York University Abu Dhabi. Funding: This project was funded under Tamkeen grant CG007 to J.A.B. and a National Geographic Society grant awarded to E.J.H
dc.publisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
dc.relation.urlhttps://advances.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abg6070
dc.rightsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.titleEnhancing the heat tolerance of reef-building corals to future warming
dc.typeArticle
dc.contributor.departmentMarine Science Program
dc.contributor.departmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
dc.identifier.journalScience Advances
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDF
dc.contributor.institutionWater Research Center and Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
dc.contributor.institutionCentre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Natural Science and Public Health, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
dc.contributor.institutionNational Marine Science Centre, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.
dc.contributor.institutionCSIRO Health and Biosecurity, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.
dc.identifier.volume7
dc.identifier.issue34
dc.identifier.pageseabg6070
kaust.personAranda, Manuel
refterms.dateFOA2021-08-23T13:59:31Z
dc.date.published-online2021-08-20
dc.date.published-print2021-08


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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.