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Environmnental stresses in a scleractinian coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis: a genomics approach


The continued development of M. Pernice as an independent researcher in marine science ultimately depends on his building a strong scientific background and a network of colleagues who are both international in representation and have multidisciplinary expertise. Pursuing a fellowship with an Outgoing phase in the Centre for Marine Studies (Australia) and Return phase in the UMR 5178 (France) offers the unique opportunity to create such a synergy between the experience in research on both climate change and symbiosis. The great success of corals as ecosystem engineers lie in their extraordinary ecology and physiology that is based on a mutualistic symbiosis between a photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) and the anthozoan animal host. Within the last several decades, scleractinarian corals have been affected by the phenomenon of mass coral bleaching, caused by the breakdown of the symbiosis between the cnidarian host and the photosynthetic symbiont and undergo a continuous global degradation in relation to global climate change. For the first time, this project proposes to specify the effects of elevated temperature and ultraviolet light on the transcriptome of the symbiotic complex between the coral Acropora millepora and the zooxanthellae Symbiodinium sp. The effects of environmental stress on both host and symbiont genes’ expression will be characterised by using cDNA microarray, RT-PCR and Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization technics. By facilitating a multidisciplinary integrated approach (Climate change, Marine sciences, Physiology, Genomics) of the study of the marine organisms and their ecosystems, this study will enhance considerably the scientific excellence of the fellow at an international level. The postdoctoral training delivered by this project will ensure that a promising young European researcher is supported and develops futher technical skills and experience to study the impact of global climate change on coral reef ecosystems.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/oceanography
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biological behavioural sciences/ethology/biological interaction
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/ecology/ecosystems
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/physiology

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)


Place Jussieu 4
75252 Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 230 256,08
Administrative Contact
Ella Bouquet (Ms.)