Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Coral fluorescent colors and biological function

Anya Salih, Ph.D.
University of Sydney

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Pacific Forum 3:00 p.m.

Many reef corals are brightly colored and are intensely fluorescent under certain light wavelengths. The pigments belong to a highly diverse super-family of photoproteins related to the biotechnologically well known green fluorescent protein (GFP). While GFP-type pigments are extremely abundant, their biological roles in corals and related organisms are still not fully understood. I will describe research by our group at the University of Sydney into the diversity, cellular microstructure, and biological functions of these pigments in reef corals, as well as some of their novel properties useful in biotechnological applications.

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