Visiting Student Research Program: “Coral microbiome under ocean acidification” – King Abdullah University of Science and technology, Saudi Arabia

Internship description:

The consequences of ocean acidification on the bacterial communities of calcium carbonate-accreting organisms such as scleractinian corals are poorly understood. For example, can changes in the microbial communities facilitate an adaptation of the coral holobiont to ocean acidification? In this VSRP project, the coral model Stylophora pistillata has been experimentally subjected to one control (pH 8.1) and three elevated pCO2 (pH 7.8 – 7.2) conditions for 12 months.

The aim of the project is to investigate changes in the microbial communities of corals under different pCO2 conditions. In particular, coral samples will be used to investigate the compartmental microbial response between the endodermal and ectodermal tissue layers.


  • DNA extraction & 16S rRNA gene amplificationSequencing library preparation
  • Bioinformatics analysis
  • Data analysis
  • Preparation of a manuscript

Faculty contact: Christian Voolstra, vsrp(at)

Field of study: genomics, microbiology, marine biology, coral reef ecology

Further information and application form.

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