Functions of Bacteria in Coral Skeletons

  • 23 Oct, 2020
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Speaker: Prof. Shan-Hua Yang(Institute of Fisheries Science, National Taiwan University)

One of Prof. Yang’s research interests focuses on coral skeletons. Previous coral studies focused on tissues instead of skeletons, and little was known about their functions. However, skeletons play a major role in the growth of corals, such as soil to plants. 

To study the green layer in coral skeletons, Prof. Yang collected Isopora palifera at Green Island, which is located off the southeastern coast of Taiwan. She extracted the DNA of the layer, sequenced it by PCR, and also observed its structure with an electron microscope. She discovered that the green layer is composed of green sulphur bacteria. Bacteriochlorophyll they contain colors the layer green. These bacteria can fix nitrogen, which is an important function in the marine environment. 

The research also revealed that corals growing in different locations and different species of corals have different kinds of bacteria. In addition, ocean acidification could make coral skeletons more porous. The increased influx of oxygen will also change the species composition of bacteria.

Prof. Yang introduced the green layer in coral skeletons.

To watch the full talk, please visit Functions of Bacteria in Coral Skeletons.

For more information about Prof. Yang’s research, please visit Microbial Ecology Lab.


October 23, 2020​


National Taiwan University Global Change Research Center


National Taiwan University International Degree Program in Climate Change and Sustainable Development