How virus power kills Red Sea coralsPublished On: Mon, Jul 9th, 2012 | Microbiology | By BioNews
Researchers have found the secret behind how bacteria bleaches and kills corals.
The “white plague”, caused by Thalassomonas loyana, infects 9 percent of Favia favus coral.
While corals next to infected ones have a 61 percent chance of catching the disease, some can resist it, New Scientist reported.
Eugene Rosenberg and his group of researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel have now found their secret – BA3, a virus that kills T. loyana.
To test its usefulness, the researchers vaccinated corals living next to infected ones with BA3.
The odds of infection dropped to 5 percent. Doing the same to infected corals stopped the disease in its tracks.
The findings of the study have been presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s general meeting in San Francisco.