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Top Story

New insights into coral health hidden in reefs' microbiomes

Humans are made up of millions of microbes, collectively called our microbiomes. These microbial ecosystems contribute to keeping us healthy. It's the same for corals and other species, scientists are finding. The coral microbiome is all the microscopic critters living in and on the coral animal. The best-studied members of the coral microbiome are the Symbiodinium, photosynthetic algae that live within the tissues of many coral species. Corals' microbiomes play an important role in reef health. Understanding what lies deep within coral reefs will help us protect these imperiled ecosystems, now under siege by El Niño's unusually warm waters.

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