Coral Microbiology and probiotics


Project Description

The use of Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs) as coral probiotics is one new methods being explored for reef conservation, restoration and rehabilitation. Our group has proposed and proven the concept that BMCs can mitigate the impacts caused by thermal stress and pathogens (Rosado et al., 2019). Despite their documented success in protecting against coral bleaching, the mechanisms associated with this protection, its application, fate of inoculated microbes and success in natural systems, and BMC possible interactions or connectivity with other organisms in the reef, remain to be explored. For this reason, the intern will join current projects being currently developed by our group that aim to isolate, select, and assemble specific BMC consortia from the Red Sea coral reefs and evaluate its role in promoting coral growth, coverage, health and connectivity with other organisms as well as to perform a deep investigation of the symbiotic relationships between corals and their associated microbiota, and its ecological outcomes.
Program - Marine Science
Division - Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - Red Sea Research Center
Field of Study - Marine Microbiology

About the

Raquel Peixoto

Associate Professor, Marine Science

Raquel Peixoto
Prof. Peixoto's research has outlined the protocols and proved the concept that the manipulation of coral-associated microorganisms, using Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs), is possible and can increase the host's resilience and resistance against environmental threats. This pioneering work has contributed to pave the way for new approaches to reveal and explore mechanisms of marine microbiology and symbiotic interactions. As a Beneficial Microbes for Marine Organisms network (BMMO) founder and chair, her goal is to keep promoting a powerful international platform where basic knowledge can be strengthened and transformed into products to be used for marine ecosystems and sustainable development, as part of her projects on coral reef protection, restoration and rehabilitation.

Desired Project Deliverables

Survey of molecular microbial-mediated mechanisms to promote coral health and growth.


Marine Sciences
Marine Sciences