A new study on Great Barrier Reef in Australia has confirmed that about 50 percent of reef have already lost. The bleaching of the global coral reef are occurring since 1980 and it has triggered two events during the year 2016 and 2017. During this year, 27 percent of world’s coral reefs have been destroyed which is an alarming rate.
To control the bleaching of the global coral reef, Stanford Medicine has announced a project which will help in exploring the future potential of the gene editing in order to save the dying corals. According to a research paper which is published on the Journal Proceedings, a gene editing tool named as CRISPR-Cas9 have been developed which do a modification to the genes of coral and help them to survive the rising ocean temperature. This gene-editing tool is said to be a revolutionary medicine in the future to save the corals.
Philip Cleves who is a Stanford geneticist focused his studies on Acropora millepora corals and he successfully modified the three types of genes like red fluorescent protein, fibroblast growth factor 1a and green fluorescent protein.
The scientists have used the bacteria-derived DNA slicer in order to turn off the genes in the unexplored coral genome. They observe the outcome of how the symbiotic organisms adapt function on a molecular level. The third gene is about a fibroblast growth factor 1a which had only one copy of the coral genome. This gene was also successful and the embryos of the coral showed the signs of mutation.
Researchers had already mapped the blueprint of the CRISPR-Cas9. It has got the ability to control the bleaching effects of the corals which are caused due to rise in temperature of the ocean surface. The researchers now trying to determine about the coral genome which contains genes that may help animals to establish their new colonies and may help them to resist the rising ocean temperature.
In a news release, cleves explained, “Although we are not sure we saw the convincing loss of fluorescence, DNA sequencing showed us that we were able to molecularly target both the red and the green fluorescent protein genes.”