New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 28, 2018) – Rutgers Professor Debashish Bhattacharya can provide insight on a National Academies’ report released today: “A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs.” He served on the committee that wrote the report and can comment on genomics and genetics issues.

“Identifying key genes that control the thermal stress response is a major goal of coral genome researchers,” said Bhattacharya, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing approaches that were recently developed for corals will allow us to validate gene functions in the next two to three years and, in the longer term, potentially lead to the creation of genetically modified hardy coral varieties.”

“Epigenetic modification plays a small but important role in the coral stress response and can be used to ‘harden’ corals and their algal symbionts in lab conditions prior to outplanting in the ocean,” said Bhattacharya, who works in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Bhattacharya is available for comment at [email protected]


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