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Title: Transcriptome Dynamics Over a Lunar Cycle in Acropora humilis
Author: Oldach, Matthew J.
Advisor: Vize, Peter D.
Keywords: Bioinformatics;Ecology;Genetics;Biology--Molecular
Issue Date: 29-Jan-2016
Abstract: The cycle of the moon serves as a cue for the reproduction of many species of corals, with many species spawning in the evening a few days following a full moon. Yet, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that allow corals to perceive moonlight and use this information for reproductive timing. To improve our understanding, short-read sequencing was used to assemble, de novo, the transcriptome of the coral Acropora humilis and identify differential patterns of gene expression in the month preceding spawning. Analysis revealed a number of biological processes that change over the lunar month including energy metabolism, skeletal deposition and translation. Furthermore, a number of circadian clock genes shift their expression over the lunar month suggesting a potential mechanism that corals may use detect moonlight and trigger a biochemical cascade that culminates in gamete release following the full moon.
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