Coral reefs on Florida’s Reef Tract (FRT) are susceptible to many anthropogenic influences including controlled freshwater discharges and agricultural runoff as well as high natural environmental variability from seasonal rainfall, runoff and upwelling. To better understand coral population structure and responses to sublethal stressors, populations of the scleractinian coral Montastraea cavernosa in the northern FRT were examined using a combination of genomic and transcriptomic techniques. Microsatellite genetic markers identified high local retention among sites and a slight southward gene flow. An in-situ temporal gene expression analysis utilizing a tag-based sequencing transcriptomic approach was used to analyze baseline coral health at St. Lucie Reef (SLR), off Stuart, FL. Temporal variation had the greatest influence of differential gene expression among M. cavernosa at SLR. Results will be shared with local resource managers and coupled with a complementary ex-situ experimental trial.
|Advisor:||Voss, Joshua D.|
|Commitee:||Hanisak, Dennis, Hughes, Colin|
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Molecular biology, Conservation biology|
|Keywords:||Florida Reef Tract, Montastraea cavernosa, Population genetics, RNA-sequencing, Watershed management|
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