10 years. That is the time it took a team of scientists in Puerto Morelos to have corals reproducing in controlled culture systems. This is a historic achievement for fisheries and aquaculture science in Mexico. As a result, it restores hope that we can recover and repopulate the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Decades of human action have severely damaged the corals; and many species risk exctinction.
As part of their investigation, researchers are working with the two ways corals are reproducing. The first is clonal propagation, cutting a segment of the coral so it forms an independent colony. The second way corals are reproducing is sexual reproduction, for which they perform assisted fertilization.
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Complementary to the initiative, researchers are creating a bank of living tissue and cryopreserved gametes. The agencies involved called the program “Rescue of emblematic coral species at risk of local extinction due to white syndrome”. It aims at safeguarding genetic and sexual material of corals, that would help protect the ecological diversity of colonies.
Source: The Yucatan Times