Coral Live Cell Storm Water Toxicity Assay

Focus Area

Climate Change


Air Quality, Environmental Process






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

This project proposes to screen, develop and apply Coral live cell imaging techniques to evaluate the effects of road runoff, increased water temperature, and storm water management practices on Coral physiology, reproduction, growth and immune systems. The proposed methods will apply Confocal Microscopy, immuno-fluorescent tagging of both fixed and live tissue.  We will also apply ELISA Imuno-chemistry to document Coral stress markers. We will concentrate this proposal on methods that allow live cell imaging so that growth, development and reproduction may be followed.

Urgency and Payoff

This Proposal will provide direct information on the effectiveness of storm water BMP on pollutant reduction and mitigation measures in reducing their impacts on coral development, reproduction and growth in the face of increased water temperatures and changes in runoff regimes.  The techniques developed under this proposal may be used to screen species for resistance to pollutant and temperature stressors, development and testing of other indices of ecosystem resilience, and will provide a direct sub lethal measure of individual coral species responses to pollutant exposure.

Suggested By

William Van Peeters, FHWA Resource Center San Francisco

[email protected]