Molecular tools for coral reef restoration: Beyond biomarker discovery

John Everett Parkinson, Andrew C. Baker, Iliana B. Baums, Sarah W. Davies, Andréa G. Grottoli, Sheila A. Kitchen, Mikhail V. Matz, Margaret W. Miller, Andrew A. Shantz, Carly D. Kenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

As coral reefs continue to decline due to climate change and other stressors, scientists have proposed adopting genomic tools, such as biomarkers, to aid in the conservation and restoration of these threatened ecosystems. Biomarkers are easily measured indicators of biological processes that can be used to predict or diagnose health, resilience, and other key performance metrics. The ultimate goal of developing biomarkers is to determine the conservation value and utility of a given coral colony, including the host animal, its algal symbionts, and their microbial partners. However, this goal remains distant because most efforts have not yet moved beyond the initial discovery phase. We review recent progress in the development of coral molecular biomarkers from a practical standpoint and consider the many challenges that remain as roadblocks to large-scale implementation. We caution practitioners that, while biomarkers are a promising technology, they are unlikely to be available for field application in the near future barring a rapid shift in research focus from discovery to subsequent validation and field trials. To facilitate such a shift, we propose a stepwise framework to guide additional study in this area, with the aim of accelerating practical molecular biomarker development to enhance coral restoration practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12687
JournalConservation Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

coral reefs
coral reef
biomarker
biomarkers
corals
coral
symbiont
biological processes
symbionts
restoration
genomics
field experimentation
climate change
ecosystems
ecosystem
animal
animals

Keywords

  • climate change
  • coral
  • genetic management
  • molecular biomarker
  • population enhancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Parkinson, J. E., Baker, A. C., Baums, I. B., Davies, S. W., Grottoli, A. G., Kitchen, S. A., ... Kenkel, C. D. (Accepted/In press). Molecular tools for coral reef restoration: Beyond biomarker discovery. Conservation Letters, [e12687]. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12687

Molecular tools for coral reef restoration : Beyond biomarker discovery. / Parkinson, John Everett; Baker, Andrew C.; Baums, Iliana B.; Davies, Sarah W.; Grottoli, Andréa G.; Kitchen, Sheila A.; Matz, Mikhail V.; Miller, Margaret W.; Shantz, Andrew A.; Kenkel, Carly D.

In: Conservation Letters, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Parkinson, JE, Baker, AC, Baums, IB, Davies, SW, Grottoli, AG, Kitchen, SA, Matz, MV, Miller, MW, Shantz, AA & Kenkel, CD 2019, 'Molecular tools for coral reef restoration: Beyond biomarker discovery', Conservation Letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12687
Parkinson JE, Baker AC, Baums IB, Davies SW, Grottoli AG, Kitchen SA et al. Molecular tools for coral reef restoration: Beyond biomarker discovery. Conservation Letters. 2019 Jan 1. e12687. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12687
Parkinson, John Everett ; Baker, Andrew C. ; Baums, Iliana B. ; Davies, Sarah W. ; Grottoli, Andréa G. ; Kitchen, Sheila A. ; Matz, Mikhail V. ; Miller, Margaret W. ; Shantz, Andrew A. ; Kenkel, Carly D. / Molecular tools for coral reef restoration : Beyond biomarker discovery. In: Conservation Letters. 2019.
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