A Novel Method for Coral Explant Culture and Micropropagation

Maya Vizel, Yossi Loya, Craig A. Downs, Esti Kramarsky-Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe here a method for the micropropagation of coral that creates progeny from tissue explants derived from a single polyp or colonial corals. Coral tissue explants of various sizes (0.5-2.5 mm in diameter) were manually microdissected from the solitary coral Fungia granulosa. Explants could be maintained in an undeveloped state or induced to develop into polyps by manipulating environmental parameters such as light and temperature regimes, as well as substrate type. Fully developed polyps were able to be maintained for a long-term in a closed sea water system. Further, we demonstrate that mature explants are also amenable to this technique with the micropropagation of second-generation explants and their development into mature polyps. We thereby experimentally have established coral clonal lines that maintain their ability to differentiate without the need for chemical induction or genetic manipulation. The versatility of this method is also demonstrated through its application to two other coral species, the colonial corals Oculina patigonica and Favia favus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Clonal lines
  • Explant culture
  • Genetically identical
  • Micropropagation


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