Sequencing a Coral Genome
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is considering a $9 million proposal to sequence a coral genome. The objective of this effort is to identify all the genes in coral DNA, determine their sequences, store information in accessible databases, and compare them with reference DNA sequences in organisms which are better studied to understand gene function.
The Importance of Sequencing the genome of a Coral Species
The sequenced genome would provide a foundation for new avenues of coral scientific research and also provide a basis for technology development that could benefit coral resource management. It would yield major breakthroughs in phylogenetic systematics.
The sequenced coral genome would also be a major bonus for evolutionary genomics, since corals are representatives of the phylum Cnidaria, a sister group to all the currently sequenced metazoans. The sequenced genome would lay the foundation for all further molecular studies of coral biology.