GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) Infection


We are really excited about this Blog because it finally gives us the opportunity to easily share all of our exciting news and the cool day to day happenings at ORA. We would like to kick this off with some neat coral shots taken yesterday in our Coral Greenhouse. One of the most exciting finds for us is the random appearance of a coral expressing some green fluorescent proteins.  We have seen it several times in the past in our Blue Millepora (pictured below from 2006) but this is the first time we have seen it in our Plum Crazy and Acropora efflorescens.  The Plum Crazy is certainly the more impressive of the two as it is green on the entire bottom half with some very cool banding where the purple and green meet. The Efflo has a large patch of green on one side of the base. Both corals have the green expressed in the tissue only while the polyps in the affected area remain their original color. ORA will likely never sell corals exhibiting GFP inefections because in our experience, these infections are not permanent and the coral will revert back to its original color in time.  While we are not experts on this topic we like to take these opportunities to learn a little more about something mysterious in our hobby.

Another similar looking occurrence we occasionally see is the blending of colors between Purple Death and Nuclear Green Palythoas. This interesting event happens where these two color morphs are growing into each other and are competing for space. We are unsure of the exact mechanisms involved with how this happens, but it does appear that the Nuclear Green Palys are slightly more dominant/aggressive and literally take over the Purple Death Palys. While everyone can look forward to ORA offering both the Purple Death Palys and Nuclear Green Palys sometime in the future, we will likely never have these so called “Two Face Palys” available if they revert to normal like GFP infected SPS corals do.

Read more at:  ReefBuilders, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Adams, Jake “Green Fluorescent Protein Infection in Corals.” Reef Life Magazine November/December 2009