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Montastraea faveolata spawned !!

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Last night at 9:45 PM Montastraea faveolata spawned, Sunset was at 7:20. 20% of the colonies were observed spawning. Fertilization rates were good, by 4:30 in the morning , roughly 95% were in the morula stage. Keep visiting the blog for information coming up !


Summer Excursions

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This summer some members of the lab will be traveling.

Michelle Weber will be traveling to UNAM in Puerto Morelos, Mexico with Viridiana to work with Roberto Iglesias-Prieto to study coral-algal symbiosis under thermal stress conditions. Then she will be traveling to present a poster at the International Physiological Society meeting in Birmingham, UK.

Aki Ohdera will be meeting Kristen Marhaver in Curacao to collect new jellyfish specimens and learn new techniques that Kristen uses in her own research.  Later in the summer he will be working with Bill Fitts lab in Key Largo, Florida to investigate the role of bacterial signals in jellyfish larvae settlement as well as collecting more jellyfish specimens.

Mario Cortes-Garcia, Bishoy Hanna, Michelle Weber and Monica Medina will all be going to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro, Panama to collect coral specimens.


Good luck on all your travels. 


New Symbiodinium transcriptome sequences

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We would like to announce the availability of new 454 assembled ESTs for two Symbiodinium strains (Mf104b - clade B, and KB8 - clade A) in addition to downloadable annotations through this link:

A BLAST+ interface is available here:

The transcriptomes were sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the raw data have been deposited at the Short Read Archive (SRA) archive at NCBI with these accession numbers:


The assembly (using the MIRA package) and annotations were conducted by  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it from the Voolstra Lab at KAUST. 
We are in the process of revamping our SymBioSys database. The new 454 Symbiodinium transcriptome annotations will be available by query once updates are finished. 
**If you use these data in your publication, please don't forget to cite "Bayer T, Aranda M, Sunagawa S, et al. Symbiodinium transcriptomes: genome insights into the dinoflagellate symbionts of reef-building corals. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(4):e35269." **

Puerto Morelos - Week 1

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Everyone is here. Acropora did not spawn last night. So tonight should be the big night. We expect both Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata spawning tonight.

Andres, our awesome undergraduate assistant, is calling our spawning event this season Operation Aquabat, and operation Aquabat is characterized by stealth movements around the reef placing nets and collecting spawn under the cover of darkness.

Stay tuned!!

PS: Last night when we did a plankton tow to feed Manu's Acropora, we saw pipefish, a skate, a conch and a squid eating a fish. Being lab geeks, unfortunately we have no species names for any of them.


We Are Moving

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The whole lab is moving from U.C. Merced to join the Biology Department of Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA.

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