When stony corals have their renowned mass spawning events, in sync with the moon’s cycle, colonies simultaneously release an underwater ‘cloud’ of sperm and eggs for fertilization. But how do the sperm and eggs survive several hours as plankton, given threats from predators, microbes and stresses such as warming waters? A Rutgers-led team has discovered some surprising features in coral sperm and eggs (collectively called gametes), according to a study in the journal PeerJ.
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