Northwest Fisheries Science Center


Dr. Linda Park
Project Lead
Staff Directory

Deep Sea Corals

Deep-water corals are found worldwide and create important structural habitat for a wide variety of marine species; however, the overall distribution and even the species composition of these deep-water coral communities remain poorly understood. To understand the extent of biodiversity of these corals, the Molecular Genetics group is engaged in collaborative research to develop a collection of voucher specimens associated with a library of genetic markers that can be used for species identification and examination of population structure.

Current work is ongoing using two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase, and a coral-specific DNA repair gene, mtMSH, to develop species specific markers (commonly called "barcodes") in collaboration with taxonomists, and apply these barcodes to identify unknown samples in the NOAA collection.

Project Staff

Dr. Ewann A. Berntson
Dr. Linda Park
Anna Elz
Meredith Everett
From FRAM: Aimee Keller