Is coral bleaching due to the instability of the zooxanthellae dark reactions?

Leggat, William, Whitney, Spencer, and Yellowlees, David (2004) Is coral bleaching due to the instability of the zooxanthellae dark reactions? Symbiosis, 37 (1-3). pp. 137-153.

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Abstract

Coral reefs are dominated by symbioses between marine invertebrates (e.g. corals, clams, sea anemones, sponges) and the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium. Increases in seawater temperature linked to global warming have lead to the phenomenon known as "bleaching", involving the disassociation of these symbioses and mass mortalities of the invertebrate host. Mass bleaching events have been linked to a thermal lesion in the photosynthesis of Symbiodinium, either at photosystem II or in the dark reactions of photosynthesis. Examination of two of the proposed lesion points, the carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) and form II Rubisco, indicate that, over the temperature range examined, the CCM is not disrupted in Symbiodinium isolated from giant clams, however it was not possible to determine if Rubisco is the point of thermal lesion resulting in bleaching. Maximum photosynthetic rates were measured between 28 and 31°C and declined as temperature was increased. Despite a low correlation between Rubisco activity, oxygen evolution and temperature, Rubisco activity declined with increasing temperature.

Item ID: 1548
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: symbiosis, bleaching, zooxanthellae, Rubisco, carbonic anhydrase, corals
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This PDF file is the publisher's final pre-print. Reproduced with permission from Symbiosis.

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ISSN: 1878-7665
Date Deposited: 31 May 2007
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060107 Enzymes @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 18
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