Deep-Sea Corals of the Red Sea – True Survivors

Coral reef

How do deep-sea corals survive in the warm, saline, oxygen- and food-deprived environment of the Red Sea?

In a recent study, Yum LK et. al describes what happened when they went diving for answers. To get started, the team isolated RNA using flash frozen coral powder from three deep-sea coral species of the Red Sea using the AllPrep DNA/RNA Mini Kit. After this, they used the RNeasy MinElute Cleanup Kit to further clean and concentrate the coral mRNA to generate cDNA libraries.

Using transcriptome sequencing and gene expression analysis, they discovered that the deep-sea corals reduce their metabolism as one way to adapt to the harsh environmental conditions. By maintaining a minimal amount of tissue and strongly reducing their respiration rates, they can survive the metabolic challenges of low oxygen, high temperature and scarce food availability. Understanding how these ecosystems adapt and function is extremely important, given that global climate change is significantly altering natural environments at an alarming rate.

For more information on the AllPrep Kits you can either download the product profile or the technical note, which looks at comparing the yield and quality of genomic DNA and RNA purified using AllPrep Kits or dedicated kits for a single nucleic acid type.


  1. 1. Roder et al. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea. 2013; Scientific Reports 3, 2802
  2. 2. Dodds LA, Roberts, JM, Taylor AC, Marubini Metabolic tolerance of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa (Scleractinia) to temperature and dissolved oxygen change. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 2007; 349, 205–214
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  4. 4. Yum et al. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals. 2017; Scientific Reports 7, 6442


Kjell Kirschbaum

Kjell Kirschbaum, M.Sc., is a Global Market Manager based in QIAGEN’s Venlo office, the Netherlands. He trained as a bioveterinary scientist at the University of Utrecht and has hands-on experience in nucleic acid and protein purification, cell culture, PCR and qPCR technology. Kjell joined QIAGEN in 2011 as a CRM specialist, regularly interacting with customers about their day-to-day experimental needs and offering relevant solutions. Currently, he is involved in managing global projects for sample preparation and automation technologies.

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