Occurrence and characteristics of unusual protistan symbionts from surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Clements, K.D., Sutton, D.C., and Choat, J.H. (1989) Occurrence and characteristics of unusual protistan symbionts from surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Marine Biology, 102 (3). pp. 403-412.

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Abstract

The occurrence of unusual symbiotic microorganisms was examined in the intestines of a range of fish from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The fish taxa examined included 26 species of the family Acanthuridae, as well as representatives of phylogenetically related and herbivorous taxa. The microorganisms, referred to as protists, were only found in herbivorous and detritivorous members of the Acanthuridae. Protists were not found in planktivorous acanthurids, nor in any members of the families Kyphosidae, Pomacentridae, Scaridae, Zanclidae, Siganidae and Bleniidae we examined. In addition, protists were absent from the herbivorous acanthurids A. xanthopterus and A. nigricans. A range of protist forms, characterized by differences in size (8 to 417 μm), shape and mode of cell division (daughter-cell production and binary fission), was observed. The occurrence of these forms appeared to be correlated with host feeding ecology. Large forms (>100 μm) of the protists were only found in acanthurids which fed over hard-reef substrata. Smaller forms were found in sand-grazing and detritivorous species. One of the protist forms appears identical to protists previously reported from Red Sea acanthurids.

Item ID: 33832
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Funders: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 05:58
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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