The Coral Symbiomics Lab
Red Sea Research Center
Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering


First PhD student graduated from Coral Symbiomics Lab !

Wang Xin defended his thesis with presentation focussing on "How corals got bone -- comparative genomics reveals the evolution of coral calcification". He assembled and annotated two draft genomes of the corallimorpharians, Amplexidiscus fenestrafer and Discosoma sp.. Using a broad phylogenomic approach, he further provided robust evidence that corallimorpharians are a monophyletic sister group of scleractinians, therefore rejecting the “naked coral” hypothesis. To uncover the molecular basis of coral skeletal formation and growth, he integrated genomic and transcriptomic data as well as skeletal proteomic data, showing that gene and domain duplications have been the main evolutionary mechanisms underlying the evolution of calcification in scleractinian corals.