Scientists Artifically Trigger GBR Coral Spawn

In a breakthrough that dramatically expands the capacity to grow corals in captivity, scientists in Australia have achieved their first-ever offseason coral spawning.

At the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, coral colonies are kept in captivity with the hopes of one day transplanting them to the biggest reef on earth. On the GBR, coral spawning happens only twice a year, between October and December but now, coral have reproduced in the middle of winter, thanks to artificial moonlight and controlled temperatures.

“We’re going to have a lot of opportunities to advance coral reproductive biology,” senior aquarist Lonidas Koukoumaftsis told ABC Australia. “Normally we can only explore this once a year in the summer period.”

A scientists collects the larva from a coral during the 2019 coral spawning season. Credit: Australian Institute of Marine Science

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