Could probiotics be the key to saving the reef?
PROBIOTICS could be the key of saving the corals in the Great Barrier Reef from bleaching.
The project by Brazilian scientist Professor Raquel Peixoto was given a grant of $150,000 as part of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation's Out of the Blue Box Reef Innovation Challenge.
Managing director Anna Marsden said the coral probiotics worked similarly to products such as yoghurt and Yakult.
"In the same way, this research is about giving corals the specific beneficial bacteria they need to boost their resilience in times of stress and help them cope with environmental changes," Ms Marsden said.
The use of probiotics in marine ecosystems remained untested until recently.
Laboratory testing at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro showed promising results in preventing coral bleaching.
Prof Peixoto's project is the second project to receive funding from the challenge.
The competition had 63 submissions from 15 countries.