Corals infected with white band disease in professor Steven Vollmer's lab.

Can reefs be designed for immunity? Genetic research is identifying disease-resistant super corals in the Caribbean

Witnessing disease outbreaks that have nearly annihilated staghorn coral colonies in the Caribbean, Northeastern scientist Steven Vollmer wondered what lessons a few lone survivors might offer for the future of coral reefs.

Would it be possible to identify disease-resistant corals by their genetic makeup?

And if the hardier types were specially selected for underwater coral nurseries, would the result be healthier reef systems?

Vollmer’s new research answers the first question in the affirmative.

Read more from Northeastern Global News.

Photo by Matthew Modooono/Northeastern University

Marine and Environmental Sciences