Evolving lineages of Symbiodinium-like dinoflagellates based on ITS1 rDNA

Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio (2003) Evolving lineages of Symbiodinium-like dinoflagellates based on ITS1 rDNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 28 (1). pp. 152-168.

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Symbiodinium-like dinoflagellates have been shown to be a diverse group of endosymbionts that associate mutualistically with many kinds of coral reef dwellers, including cnidarians, molluscs, and protists. A high number of genetically ITS types of symbionts have been reported to date. However, whether these recently identified Symbiodinium ITS types indeed represent independent evolutionary lineages is still unsettled. Here I tested the null hypothesis that certain group of symbionts sampled from different geographical locations are derived from a single evolutionary lineage using a nested clade analysis (NCA). I analyzed a total of 174 ITS1 sequences from GenBank and pooled them into 74 ITS1 distinct haplotypes. Using these haplotypes, the statistical parsimony criterion produced 23 independent network trees, each one corresponding to a genetically independent evolving lineage. Some of these lineages revealed certain degree of specificity with some host groups at least at the phylum level. Within the previously described 28S-rDNA phylotype A, five ITS1 lineages were resolved. Phylotypes B and C resolved each in two ITS1 lineages. The highest ITS1 symbiont diversity was observed within the phylotype F, in which 11 lineages were resolved. Moreover, most of these lineages were associated uniquely with protist hosts from the group of foraminiferans. Here it is suggested that this high genetic diversity of endosymbionts associated with foraminiferans is linked with the evolution of soritacean foraminifera, which seems to have been driven by endosymbiosis. Lastly, the absence of genetic recombination presented in this study, suggest a lack of hybridisation at least among the major 28S-rDNA phylotypes within Symbiodinium-like dinoflagellates. This supports highly the idea that these phylotypes are indeed independent evolutionary units, which should be considered at least as different species. Whether they belong to the same genus or to different higher taxa still needs to be revised.

Item ID: 1483
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9513
Keywords: Symbiodinium, dinoflagellates, ITS types, diversity, evolutionary lineages, foraminifera, hybridisation
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2007
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology @ 0%
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