A research project published today in the journal Current Biology by Matthew Nicotra et. al has discovered a Cnidarian gene which probably explains how corals and anemones react to one another. Researchers used lab strains of Hydractinia with and without the ‘recognition gene’ and they demonstrated that this specific gene is the regulator of certain cell to cell receptors. The interaction of this gene between corals basically dictates whether corals will fuse together when they meet or whether they will take evasive/aggressive action. We’ve seen corals fight a plenty but occasionally we’ve been puzzled at how similar and very different corals can sometimes reach a stalemate when they meet, now we know why. Once we get our home genetics laboratory kit we’ll get to work on producing our very own line limited edition ‘passive’ coral strains. For more information on this topic see A Hypervariable Invertebrate Allodeterminant.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.