We’ve seen the ‘grafting’ phenomenon of different fluorescent proteins infecting a wide range of SPS corals including Acropora, Montipora, Stylocoeniella and even Turbinaria but the new grafted Anacropora from Reef Raft are the first of their kind. It’s only quite recently that the reef aquarium hobby has seriously started to enjoy more colorful strains and species of Anacropora like the Green Goblin and red TNT Anacropora and a smattering of less common orange or blue strains so it’s quite exciting to know that their colors can get remixed like we’ve seen in related SPS corals.
Reef Raft experienced this unique natural sharing of fluorescent pigments by naturally growing their yellow Goldenrod strain alongside the more common red TNT Anacro and low and behold, some of the red protein of the TNT anacro found its way into the tissues of the yellow goldenrod for a color motif which is very popular in so many corporate logos. We’re very excited to learn that these Anacropora are just as susceptible as other stony corals to cross pollination of their protein colors and it sure doesn’t hurt that this genus is famously non aggressive towards their neighbors.
With this precedent in place we’re keen to discover whether the reciprocal infection can be induced – if the yellow fo the Goldenrod or the green of the Goblin can infect the red TNT Anacropora, or if we could encourage the very common Goblin strain to accept fluorescent proteins from their closely related Montipora coral cousins. It will be very interesting to see how fast these newly enhanced Anacropora develop and how the colored proteins affect their growth rate because the green strains – so far- do seem to grow a heckuva lot faster than their red and orange counterparts.