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Vitamin C may be vital to coral growth

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 26, 2016 09:00 AM
A new study investigating the poorly understood mechanisms behind coral calcification discovered something surprising: the most upregulated gene transcript for the process of calcification appeared to regulate Vitamin C.

Are your SPS getting enough vitamin C?

In vertebrates, vitamin C is an essential nutrient for bone morphogenesis.  It turns out that it may also be important - very important - for coral skeletal morphogensis.  For the stony coral Porites astreoides, researchers found the vitamin C transporter SLC23A were heavily expressed in regions adjacent to rapid skeleton formation, suggesting vitamin C is a critical component for calcification.

Several aquarium chemical manufacturers already market vitamin C supplements (either direct or part of a "full spectrum" supplement).  Most manufacturers tout its benefit as an immune system booster, not an essential component for coral calcification.  Now, there is actual data to support the use of vitamin C.

The study is reported in American Geophysical Union’s 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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