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Immune Cells in Sea Corals

  • IASbaba
  • August 25, 2021
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Immune Cells in Sea Corals

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – issues related to SCs and STs

In news A new study has identified for the first time that specialised immune cells (phagocytic cells) exist in certain varieties of sea corals and anemones.

  • It will help in better understanding how reef-building corals and other reef animals protect themselves from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses found in and around coral reefs.

What is Phagocytosis? 

  • It is the process by which certain living cells called phagocytes ingest or engulf other cells or particles.
  • The phagocyte may be a free-living one-celled organism, such as an amoeba, or one of the body cells, such as a white blood cell.
  • In some forms of animal life, such as amoebas and sponges, phagocytosis is a means of feeding. 

What are Sea anemones? 

  • They are sometimes called the ‘flowers of the sea’, sea anemones are actually beautiful animals, they are a close relative of coral and jellyfish, and are the marine, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria.
  • They are found from the tidal zone of all oceans to depths of more than 10,000 metres.

What is Coral? 

  • Corals are made up of genetically identical organisms called polyps. These polyps have microscopic algae called zooxanthellae living within their tissues.
  • The corals and algae have a mutualistic relationship.
  • They are also called the “rainforests of the seas”.
  • Major locations of corals in India
    • Coral reefs are present in the areas of Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep Islands and Malvan.

News Source: DTE

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