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Old 08/22/2015, 09:05 PM   #1592
34cygni
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 59
This is from back on page 62...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34cygni
Corals keep their symbionts nitrogen-limited to force them to pump out sugar, and as much as half of this sugar goes towards making mucous -- which sounds a little disgusting until you consider that mucous is the front line of coral's immune system. They secrete mucous to lift bacteria off their surface, and then release the mucous into the water, and the bacteria drift harmlessly away.
I can't edit that post, so here's a correction in the interest of accuracy:

Corals keep their symbionts nitrogen-limited to force them to pump out sugar, and as much as half of this sugar goes towards making mucous -- which sounds a little disgusting until you consider that mucous is the front line of coral's immune system. They secrete mucous to lift bacteria off their surface, and the coral polyps (or sometimes the CUC) will eat the mucous to ingest the bacteria. If a coral is under serious threat, it can detach the mucous in hopes that the pathogenic bacteria will drift harmlessly away.


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