Saving coral reefs is one of the major challenges of our lifetime.
The Aiptasia Symbiosis Resource brings researchers, educators, students, and conservation managers together to openly share methods and insights about the laboratory model animal Aiptasia (Exaiptasia diaphana), with the aim of training the next generation of scientists and providing foundational information to conservation efforts underway to save the world’s coral reefs.
The symbiotic relationship between corals, their photosynthetic algae, and other microscopic organisms, forms the structural and nutritional foundation of coral reef ecosystems. Deeper investigations of this relationship could lend significant support to coral conservation science. However, corals present great difficulties for laboratory experimentation, especially in the development of new genetic methods. The sea anemone Aiptasia is a close relative of corals, sharing many of its attributes, but having the distinct advantage of being an excellent model for corals in laboratory investigations.
Through open sharing and collaboration, researchers, educators, students, and conservation managers learn from each other’s experiences of using Aiptasia in laboratory investigations. The Aiptasia Symbiosis Resource is a portal for that collective knowledge – providing training for the next generation of coral scientists, building robust new methods for experimentation, and accelerating the pursuit of answers to help save coral reefs.