The first draft of the whole genome sequence of the coral Acropora millepora, the result of collaboration between the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoE) and the Australian Genome Research Facility, was recently released http://www.coralcoe.org.au/news_stories/coralgenome.html. In a parallel and complementary effort, CoE program leader David Miller collaborated with a Japanese team led by Nori Satoh at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in sequencing the genome of Acropora digitifera, a species thatis more abundant on Japanese reefs. The results of this study are published in the 28th July issue of Nature http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10249.html. Also see the Nature News and Views article Coral genomes could aid reef conservation
The CoE and OIST teams are now collaborating to compare the two genome sequences, which will not only provide insights into how genes contribute to the biological differences between coral species, but will also empower coral population genetics and ecological research.