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Corals need to take their vitamin C

Dose needed for larvae to build stony skeleton, gene activity shows

By
1:00pm, February 23, 2016
mustard hill corals

VITAMIN CORAL  Mustard hill corals use vitamin C when building their skeletons, just like humans do, researchers propose.

NEW ORLEANS — Hard corals may need a dose of vitamin C when building their stony skeletons. New research finds that when free-floating coral larvae settle down and calcify their skeletons, genes associated with the transport of vitamin C get busy. Without enough of the vitamin, corals might even get scurvy.

The work will help scientists better understand how such environmental shifts as climate change will impact coral calcification (SN Online: 10/8/15), said Joshua Rosenthal, a neurobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. Rosenthal presented the work February 22 at the American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting.

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