Worlds first?

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agame2021

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I work at a local fish store and I have been told this is a worlds first but wanted to put it out there to test the waters.
Grafted Undata Montipora. My shop has been growing this out for a while now. This MC has been fragged multiple times and none of the frags have made it. Just recently last week we had our first successful fragging and these pieces look awesome!
In the MC you can see the red streak all the way across the coral all the way into the purple rim. A couple of the polyps have changed color but most have stayed the same as the original.

let me know your thoughts or if you can find anyone else who has this grafted montipora. Just trying to make sure we are the worlds first before we go live with our store.

4F1493D3-1F6A-426D-B0E1-78FBCE859552.jpeg 746C31C1-5AC8-4C30-A42A-69A38AC19D1D.jpeg
 
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agame2021

agame2021

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These swirly colors can happen from just a small broken piece of a coral landing on the colony so sometimes it’s impossible to tell where the color came from. And I am bad with like colors so don’t go on too much of what I said :)
Hopefully the part in the middle sticks for the one frag, I would certainly keep both in the same area and leave them be as long as possible to see if it sticks long term. It’s promising that it’s not green ime. The green pigment infection type of colorations are notorious for looking cool then fading in a few months or sometimes even longer. Bad part is some people find the green will take to other corals too and sometimes that doesn’t look good. I have not seen many orange or red graft/infection fade out and disappear like the greens do. I am still waiting to see if John copps still has his grafted Bella acropora growing well. I got the first piece but lost it when I gave my corals to a friend before I moved to Florida. Thanks for sharing the pics and keep us updated.
Alright so when they appeared we had a slew of different red stuff in the same tank. We had a red milli and another red Milli with blue tips. We had blasto and ultra red Goniapora. We had some tyree watermelon chalices and a couple other things. However the blasto’s were recently cut around that time and the milli’s were really close by. So it could be next to any of those causing color sharing.
Out of the 5 frags 1 still remains with color just faded a little however we think it’s due to us moving it into our online tank(which those lights bring out greens more than anything else.). So it’s been almost 2 weeks so 1/5 frags kept color and the MC is still growing strong and still has color spreading. So we are excited to keep an eye out and see what happens.
 
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agame2021

agame2021

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I have never seen this with an undata. Of course my limited experience is no proof that it has not been done before of course, but for everyone saying it has been done I am curious if they have links to any... I am surprised to have not seen it before?
Yeah I think everyone thought we were judging off just monti cap which there is a lot of… however after I described more in detail no one has said they have see it before. And no one has provided a single link yet which would be cool. Again might not be a worlds first but then again might not be any more out there at the moment.
Or it could be a worlds first documented idk. But we are leaving a paper trail this time so the info is out there for sure!
 
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AlexandraDreadlocksPanda

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This is an example of forced chimerism, where a tolerable cell line from a different individual of the same species is intentionally introduced into a coral. The orange color streaks are from the second cell line (making it a chimera). Although most commonly due to two or more coral planulae settling next to each other and fusing, mature corals can also perform this trick if their cell lines are compatible. Interesting thing about this is that chimerism has been shown to decrease bleaching risk in wild corals, thought to be due to constant inflammatory bickering between the two or more cell lines.

This is the first I’ve seen in M. undata, although it has been done in several other coral species.
I was under the impression that Chimerism cannot occur in adult corals, as it requires the corals to grow together before their immune systems develop a sense of self/other… in genetically similar adult corals they can fuse and/or infect each other with pigment proteins but will never be a true Chimera?
 
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sculpin01

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I was under the impression that Chimerism cannot occur in adult corals, as it requires the corals to grow together before their immune systems develop a sense of self/other… in genetically similar adult corals they can fuse and/or infect each other with pigment proteins but will never be a true Chimera?
I was under that impression too, but examples like these keep being produced. The idea of pigment infection was generated by a hobbyist. Green (and other) fluorescent proteins aren't infectious. They are simply barrel-shaped beta sheet protein chromophores which require a cell to be produced. They do however provide a visual clue to what appears to be happening. Although that doesn't exclude some form of GFP gene jumping event, the appearance of these corals suggests otherwise. The pattern of spread seen in these "infected" corals is identical to settlement-based chimerism, e.g. "stripes" of the additional cell line/lines growing/swirling through the dominant cell line.

One of the chimerism papers I read recently suggested that it increased coral survival to thermal challenge, possibly because the two or more cell lines are constantly irritating each other leading to increased cellular inflammation and upregulation of things like heat shock proteins. Given that, it's not too far a stretch to see "forced chimerism" as a positive, allowing some degree of immmunotolerance of the new cell line by the host in exchange for a survival benefit.

Only way to be sure is to sequence a few of these corals and find out.
 
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jakefitz

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Lol, I love how once I ask for factual sitings of the specified “undata” montipora grafting this post stops getting comments. But when left to speculation and comparing to all types of montipora it blows up and people just fire away how it's “not special”. I just think it’s real funny.
Worlds first. Very special. You're the best.
 
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BranchingHammer

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I was under that impression too, but examples like these keep being produced. The idea of pigment infection was generated by a hobbyist. Green (and other) fluorescent proteins aren't infectious. They are simply barrel-shaped beta sheet protein chromophores which require a cell to be produced. They do however provide a visual clue to what appears to be happening. Although that doesn't exclude some form of GFP gene jumping event, the appearance of these corals suggests otherwise. The pattern of spread seen in these "infected" corals is identical to settlement-based chimerism, e.g. "stripes" of the additional cell line/lines growing/swirling through the dominant cell line.

One of the chimerism papers I read recently suggested that it increased coral survival to thermal challenge, possibly because the two or more cell lines are constantly irritating each other leading to increased cellular inflammation and upregulation of things like heat shock proteins. Given that, it's not too far a stretch to see "forced chimerism" as a positive, allowing some degree of immmunotolerance of the new cell line by the host in exchange of a survival benefit.

Only way to be sure is to sequence a few of these corals and find out.
This response that I quoted lays out a bunch of the science behind coral chimerism and disputes the commonly held misconception that GFP can infect corals. While it is possible for horizontal gene transfer (such as genes for GFP translation) to occur in the ocean, this is mostly seen among prokaryotes and is less common in eukaryotic cells such as coral. In addition, scientific papers suggest that corals are able to synthesize their own photo-protective proteins, such as GFP, without the help of symbiotic bacteria other symbionts. This can be evidenced by the presence of GFP and other fluorescent protein genes present in the genome of Acropora sp. and likely other coral species.

These findings point towards corals being able to synthesize fluorescent proteins (FP) independently of their symbiotic organisms, which would lead to horizontal gene transfer between symbiotic organisms being a less plausible explanation for coral coloration shifts (stripes of color).

In theory, horizontal gene transfer could still occur in individual coral cells, which could lead to the potential expression of different fluorescent proteins, but for how long? And is this a feasible option to explain all of the different color streaks that we see relatively commonly in the hobby? (Need to do more reading on this, feel free to comment)

Or could a viral infection lead to GFP and other FP translation in coral cells?
 
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sculpin01

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This response that I quoted lays out a bunch of the science behind coral chimerism and disputes the commonly held misconception that GFP can infect corals. While it is possible for horizontal gene transfer (such as genes for GFP translation) to occur in the ocean, this is mostly seen among prokaryotes and is less common in eukaryotic cells such as coral. In addition, scientific papers suggest that corals are able to synthesize their own photo-protective proteins, such as GFP, without the help of symbiotic bacteria other symbionts. This can be evidenced by the presence of GFP and other fluorescent protein genes present in the genome of Acropora sp. and likely other coral species.

These findings point towards corals being able to synthesize fluorescent proteins (FP) independently of their symbiotic organisms, which would lead to horizontal gene transfer between symbiotic organisms being a less plausible explanation for coral coloration shifts (stripes of color).

In theory, horizontal gene transfer could still occur in individual coral cells, which could lead to the potential expression of different fluorescent proteins, but for how long? And is this a feasible option to explain all of the different color streaks that we see relatively commonly in the hobby? (Need to do more reading on this, feel free to comment)

Or could a viral infection lead to GFP and other FP translation in coral cells?
Thraustochytrids have been mentioned as a potential vector for coral gene transfer, and could explain a horizontal transfer/gene jumping. But you're our local expert on that!

This would be a fun project to talk a coral scientist into sequencing. Is it a simple gene transfer or is it forced chimerism? I would lean towards the latter but it would be cool to find out.
 
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agame2021

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Thraustochytrids have been mentioned as a potential vector for coral gene transfer, and could explain a horizontal transfer/gene jumping. But you're our local expert on that!

This would be a fun project to talk a coral scientist into sequencing. Is it a simple gene transfer or is it forced chimerism? I would lean towards the latter but it would be cool to find out.
I’m not to sure. Would be some awesome info for sure!
We ended up moving the coral due to bacteria bloom in the tank and the color has started to fade. So it would be awesome if someone had an explanation so maybe we could keep the color and potentially get some other pieces with red in it.
 
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BranchingHammer

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Thraustochytrids have been mentioned as a potential vector for coral gene transfer, and could explain a horizontal transfer/gene jumping. But you're our local expert on that!

This would be a fun project to talk a coral scientist into sequencing. Is it a simple gene transfer or is it forced chimerism? I would lean towards the latter but it would be cool to find out.
Thraustochytrids could be a candidate, but future research studying the interactions between thraustochytrids and corals is necessary as well. I have seen thraustochytrids mentioned in a reef-hobbyist article, but not in a scientific paper yet.
Through some preliminary personal experimentation and in other articles, thraustochytrids have been isolated from coral mucus, indicating a probable relationship (commensalism?) between corals and thraustochytrids. My question then would be how thraustochytrids act as vectors for DNA transfer to exchange fluorescent protein genes... To my knowledge, thraustochytrids do not synthesize flrourescent proteins on their own, but produce high amounts of carotenoids (orange pigments). So to act as a vector for gene transfer, they might have to pick up these genes from one coral cell line and transfer them to another...

Another explanation that could be plausible:
Each coral individual of a given species (and most species) contain the genetic code (genes) for multiple different fluorescent proteins (FPs). These FPs are only synthesized as photoprotectants for their symbiotic algae, zooxanthellae, under certain lighting and stress conditions. Expression of these FPs is also related to the corals genotype and phenotype, which determine which FP genes are expressed and to what degree (which explains chimerism). What if these streaks of color that are produced in corals are cell lines that have switched off production of one FP and turned on the production of another? This could be due to a mutation that causes that cell line to produce different FPs or overexpress/underexpress others. This could also be an interesting experiment to perform: How genetically different are different colored streaks of tissue in these types of coral colonies?

Just like @sculpin01 said, I think sequencing coral DNA and the DNA of the organisms in the coral microbiome is our next step towards understanding the myriad of dynamics that go on in coral microbiome. We also need to inspect genomes for clues to understand how coral pigmentation changes/transfers, photo-protective pigment dynamics, and how expression of these FPs relates to bleaching.

BTW, I think this is a great discussion! Very exciting since there is still not very much known about pigment transfer etc.
 
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encrustingacro

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It's pretty unusual for M. Undata although commonly seen in M. capricornis and M. setosa. Cool piece!
I don’t think this coral is an undata, as judging by the reference photos in COTW, M. undata looks more like M. confusa. Also, there are (almost) no true capricornis in the hobby.
 
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rossco

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I don’t think this coral is an undata, as judging by the reference photos in COTW, M. undata looks more like M. confusa. Also, there are (almost) no true capricornis in the hobby.


copied from COTW webpage

Capture.JPG
 
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Sabellafella

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This is an example of forced chimerism, where a tolerable cell line from a different individual of the same species is intentionally introduced into a coral. The orange color streaks are from the second cell line (making it a chimera). Although most commonly due to two or more coral planulae settling next to each other and fusing, mature corals can also perform this trick if their cell lines are compatible. Interesting thing about this is that chimerism has been shown to decrease bleaching risk in wild corals, thought to be due to constant inflammatory bickering between the two or more cell lines.

This is the first I’ve seen in M. undata, although it has been done in several other coral species.
Had two colonys of anacropora grow into eachother for an extremely long time. Only one of hundreds or branches grabbed the green off the other. I started growing grafted portions of the graft out recently.

Always love seeing interesting stuff like that undata.

20221104_152247.jpg
 
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encrustingacro

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COTW is unfortunately likely rife with errors (although still an awesome and monumental achievement). I think some of what were thought to be variant growth morphologies within species will become separate species in the future.
That is true. I once found a Micromussa in the Blastomussa Wellsi page of their website. COTW also for some reason refuses to update their taxonomic nomenclature "based on morphological grounds."
 
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This Saturday I will be back in the shop and have to take some photo’s in the tank this coral is in. I’m hoping I will be able to photo it and get a comparable photo.
So my issue is we have radion G5’s all over the shop. The owner of the shop are running the same schedule in all the different tanks. He also said he has the same light settings across all the tanks.
However I’m sure some of you have noticed colors that do best within your own tanks. So the tank the coral is in rn is actually really “green” focused. The tank it was in was fairly balanced but leaned more towards blues and greens.
Our tank in the front(our display) brings out golds(and everything else is kinda balanced).
Does spectrum have that big of a play on the proteins, zooxanthellae and color pigment?
 
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sculpin01

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Had two colonys of anacropora grow into eachother for an extremely long time. Only one of hundreds or branches grabbed the green off the other. I started growing grafted portions of the graft out recently.

Always love seeing interesting stuff like that undata.

20221104_152247.jpg
That is awesome and a perfect example of what we are discussing. Is this a native cell line expressing a new gene or a newly introduced cell line (forced chimera)? I would vote for the latter because I would expect the "new gene expression" model to have a mix of pink and green, rather than just green. Thanks for posting that!
 
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sculpin01

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This Saturday I will be back in the shop and have to take some photo’s in the tank this coral is in. I’m hoping I will be able to photo it and get a comparable photo.
So my issue is we have radion G5’s all over the shop. The owner of the shop are running the same schedule in all the different tanks. He also said he has the same light settings across all the tanks.
However I’m sure some of you have noticed colors that do best within your own tanks. So the tank the coral is in rn is actually really “green” focused. The tank it was in was fairly balanced but leaned more towards blues and greens.
Our tank in the front(our display) brings out golds(and everything else is kinda balanced).
Does spectrum have that big of a play on the proteins, zooxanthellae and color pigment?
The spectrum and intensity will come into play. Many of the colors we appreciate in our corals become more pronounced under blue lighting. For example, frags from ORA arrive notably brown from being grown in their outdoor greenhouses under essentially a 6500K spectrum. Within a couple of weeks, said frags will start to color up under standard tank lighting (10,000K to 20,000K).

Intensity can play a role in color expression in high light loving corals as well, and will be highly coral specific. For something like M. undata (?) which can grow happily in as little as 50-100 PAR, it's hard to say how much of an effect intensity will have.
 
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