$1.5 Million Grant to Establish Coral Gene Bank, Study Coral Diseases

Coral resilience research in Dr. Erinn Muller’s lab in Sept. 2017: branching corals. (Image credit: Conor Goulding/Mote Marine Laboratory)

Mote Marine Laboratory has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to seed 130 acres of Florida reefs with resilient varieties that can better withstand disease and climate change. Mote’s grant is one of 35 grants totaling $28.9 million awarded by the Coastal Resilience Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NOAA, with support from Shell Oil and TransRe. Funds were granted under the National Oceans and Coastal Security Act, Title IX. Matching contributions of $38.3 million create a total $67.2 million conservation effort.

Mote will use its grant to implement the Florida Keys Coral Disease Response & Restoration Initiative, which is geared toward mitigating threats to coral reefs such as coral tissue-loss disease. Mote will establish a clean room laboratory for coral disease research, establish a living coral gene bank, study coral genetic diversity and seed genetically-resilient species along the Florida coast.

Read more about the project: MoteMarine Laboratory & Aquarium


These coral fragments are being grown at Mote’s Tropical Research Lab on Summerland Key using a new technique developed at Mote for the purpose of restoring wild colonies. (Image credit: Conor Goulding/Mote Marine Laboratory)

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