Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising MarineBusiness-World
Sail-World.com : Crabs help Great Barrier Reef coral combat white syndrome
Crabs help Great Barrier Reef coral combat white syndrome


'Crabs help Great Barrier reef fight deadly disease'    F. Joseph Pollock
A particular species of crab has been assisting Great Barrier Reef coral in combating white syndrome, a deadly disease that causes coral tissue to disintegrate.

Joseph Pollock, from James Cook University’s School of Marine and Tropical Biology and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), has been studying the disease, and its unlikely helper, the 'furry coral crab'.

The study, Cymo melanodactylus crabs slow progression of white syndrome lesions on corals, describes how coral-associated crabs help protect their coral hosts from disease, both of which appear throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Mr Pollock said another research team at JCU had originally reported on an association between white syndrome and these crabs.

Initially, it was thought the crabs were to blame for the disease, rather than helping cure it, he said.

'Researchers originally speculated that they may actually cause the disease, since diseased colonies have high numbers of crabs and it is known that these crabs can eat coral tissue,' he said.

'I have been doing a number of assays to determine the cause of this disease and it didn’t seem that the crabs could cause the amount of destruction you see with this disease, in which the coral tissue essentially just falls off of the coral skeleton.

'This was the first study to report that they actually slow the disease progression. To my knowledge, this is also the first study to demonstrate that coral-dwelling invertebrates have the potential to slow disease progression on their host.'

Mr Pollock said it was not entirely clear how the crabs slowed the disease progression.

'We hypothesize that it may be in a manner similar to maggot debridement therapy, an ancient medical treatment that is actually still in use today.'

Crabs help Great Barrier reef fight deadly disease -  F. Joseph Pollock  
Mr Pollock likened it to actor Russell Crow’s character in the film Gladiator when he has his shoulder wound cleaned by maggots.

'Essentially, the crabs could be slowing the disease by simply feeding on sloughing coral tissue and potentially harmful microbes at the lesion front.'

Mr Pollock said he had been studying white syndrome coral disease at Lizard Island, about 240km north of Cairns and 27km off the Far North Queensland coast, for about two years but this set of experiments was quite brief.

'We basically collected healthy and diseased coral colonies from the field, manipulated the crab numbers, and observed the fragments for three weeks.'

The disease had a devastating effect on corals, he said.

'The disease is pretty nasty. Essentially, the corals tissue just falls off of the skeleton and it is often fatal to the coral. Imagine your skin and muscle starting to fall off at your fingertips and spreading over the entire body leaving behind only skeleton.

'It is also interesting that we found these crabs to be very strongly attracted to white syndrome colonies. This means that when a coral is infected with the disease, crabs from nearby coral colonies could migrate to the diseased colony, slowing the disease. This could be a very interesting feedback mechanism whereby these crabs help to slow coral disease on reefs.'

The experiments were performed by Mr Pollock and Mr Sefano Katz, a collaborator from Israel who is completing an internship at JCU.

JCU’s Professor Bette Willis and Dr David Bourne from AIMS provided feedback and guidance on the manuscript.

This work was funded through by a Lizard Island Research Foundation Fellowship awarded to Mr Pollock for study at Lizard Island Research Station, a facility of the Australian Museum for two years.



For interviews, Mr Pollock can be contacted on 0466 407 141 or Frederic.Pollock@my.jcu.edu.au

ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies


by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106731

3:27 PM Tue 19 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Power Boat News





Abbot Point onshore disposal by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,










Great Barrier Reef plan released for comment by Queensland Minister for Environment,










Brisbane Boat Show begins *Feature by Jeni Bone,










































Australian Offshore Superboat 2014 - Superboats ready for Redcliffe
Southport Yacht Club’s annual Sail Past and Blessing of Fleet Ceremony
Gosport Grand Prix of the Sea finale to decide P1 champions
Camper & Nicholsons Yachts presents the Sagitta 42
GT15 and GT30 European Championships - Jelf takes to the podium twice
Marine Rescue crew saves cruiser in trouble in rough conditions
XCAT Series gets set to conquer another continent in 2015
Dangerous conditions for boaters on most of NSW coast
2014 Mandurah Boat Show - Third largest boat show in Australia
2014 Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Eye on the big picture
Mediterranean Grand Prix - Powerboat racing heavyweights head to Ibiza
Mediterranean Grand Prix - World Aquabike stars all set
Antarctic sea-level rising faster than global rate
Powerboat champions gear up for Honda RYA Youth RIB National final
Andrew Scott joins Superior as General Manager *Feature
2014 Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Fastest Jet Ski ever built
Best Birthday Party ever at Southport Yacht Club! *Feature
‘Hall of Fame’ status for Empire Marina *Feature
Girl power all set for Nottingham powerboat racing action
Cowes to Torquay Race 2014 - Intense activity in preparation
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do   
Australian Offshore Superboat Champ - 15 Superboats in Coffs Harbour   
European première for Belize 54 Daybridge at Cannes Yachting Festival   
‘Fish Friendly’ accreditation for Sanctuary Cove Marina   
Plethora of Powerboat racing action this weekend   
Vicsail Boat show Open Day at Rushcutters Bay   
Marine15 - prospectus available online now + VIDEO *Feature   
Southport Yacht Club achieves Clean Marina certification + VIDEO *Feature   
Port Kembla Volunteers bring in 75 metre monster from 5nm offshore   
Gold Coast Int'l Marine Expo - Make every moment one to remember   
Dangerous conditions for boaters from Queensland border to Sydney   
4x4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo - Busy opening day   
Summerland 40 LR named Boat of the Year   
More new boats brand Brisbane Boat Show as a spectacular showcase   
Xiamen Int'l Boat Show 2014 moving to a new home   
Yamaha inspires students to succeed   
NSW EPA supports Marina Industry Environmental Accreditation   
Powerful Yanmar 12AY Diesel Series revealed   
Buy a slice of Solar Sailor history *Feature   
Swan celebrates sales success *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT