AIMS Spawning Success – Australia’s Frozen Bank Continues to Grow

The Reef Recovery team has come together for a second year of spawning for corals from the Great Barrier Reef. Our researchers from the Smithsonian Institution, Taronga Conservation Society and Monash University have joined forces once again with scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to continue building Australia’s frozen coral bank. AIMS researchers brought several coral species in from the Great Barrier Reef and so far 4 species have spawned, with sperm from two species being added to the bank, along with embryonic cells from one species. We will continue to watch for spawning for the next several nights, as each species spawns at it’s own specific time of the evening, over the course of several days.

Montipora digitata spawning in a tank at AIMS. In the center, you can see one egg/sperm bundle just barely released from a polyp at the center of the photo and one bundle rising through the water column in the upper-right side of the photo. Photo by M. Henley.

AIMS researchers, Dr. Emily Howells and Dr. David Abrego prepping to make coral larvae from freshly spawned eggs and sperm that was frozen last year. Photo by M. Henley.

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