Great Barrier Reef

Bioplatforms Australia will generate genomic datasets for coral, their algal symbionts and associated microbes as part of ‘Sea-quence’, a project focused on protecting and preserving the Great Barrier Reef.


Climate change is considered to be the greatest risk facing the Great Barrier Reef as it poses significant long term repercussions for the sustainability of coral reefs and their complex ecosystem. In response to this threat, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) has established a consortium of national and international experts called ReFuGe 2020 (short for Reef Future Genomics). The ReFuGe 2020 partners are investing resources and expertise across reef management, coral reefs, medical, agricultural and genomics fields to fast track genomics-based research into coral resilience and adaption to climate change and develop new strategies for reef protection.


The first phase of the ReFuGe 2020 reef protection program is Sea-quence which will generate core genetic data on important coral species and their associated symbionts. Samples will be collected from both the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea where water temperatures are two degrees higher.

New Datasets

Bioplatforms Australia joined the ReFuGe 2020 consortium in 2012 and will create the large scale genomics datasets needed for Sea-quence and downstream research. DNA sequencing for the Australian corals will be performed at Bioplatforms Australia facilities and provide a unique resource for ReFuGe 2020 research projects and consortium partners. The datasets will also be made publically available to enable future bioscience research within the broader scientific community.

Corporate Sponsorship

Besides the investment by Bioplatforms Australia, Sea-quence is generously supported by Rio Tinto which has made a cash investment to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Further support by a family foundation will also progress research outcomes.

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