They are currently declining around the world, largely due to the effects of climate change and local anthropogenic issues.Temperature stress in particular has been associated with significant coral mortality over the last 30 years due to adverse effects on the relationship between reef-building corals and their algal endosymbionts from the genus Symbiodinium.
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This marked the beginning of Horecker's lifelong involvement with the pentose phosphate pathway.
During World War II, Horecker left Chicago and got a job at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Frederick S.
Joined by Horecker's first postdoctoral student, J. Seegmiller, they worked out a new method for the preparation of glucose 6-phosphate and 6-phosphogluconate, both of which were not yet commercially available.
As reported in the (JBC) Classic reprinted here, they purified 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase from brewer's yeast (1), and by coupling the reduction of TPN to its reoxidation by pyruvate in the presence of lactic dehydrogenase, they were able to show that the first product of 6-phosphogluconate oxidation, in addition to carbon dioxide, was ribulose 5-phosphte.
Horecker also collaborated with Heppel on the isolation of cytochrome reductase from yeast and eventually accomplished the first isolation of the flavoprotein from mammalian liver.