The transcriptomic response of the coral Acropora digitifera to a competent Symbiodinium strain: the symbiosome as an arrested early phagosome

Mohamed, A.R., Cumbo, V., Harii, S., Shinzato, C., Chan, C.X., Ragan, M.A., Bourne, D.G., Willis, B.L., Ball, E.E., Satoh, N., and Miller, D.J. (2016) The transcriptomic response of the coral Acropora digitifera to a competent Symbiodinium strain: the symbiosome as an arrested early phagosome. Molecular Ecology, 25 (13). pp. 3127-3141.

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Despite the ecological significance of the relationship between reef-building corals and intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in its establishment. Indeed, microarray-based analyses point to the conclusion that host gene expression is largely or completely unresponsive during the establishment of symbiosis with a competent strain of Symbiodinium. In this study, the use of Illumina RNA-Seq technology allowed detection of a transient period of differential expression involving a small number of genes (1073 transcripts; <3% of the transcriptome) 4 h after the exposure of Acropora digitifera planulae to a competent strain of Symbiodinium (a clade B strain). This phenomenon has not previously been detected as a consequence of both the lower sensitivity of the microarray approaches used and the sampling times used. The results indicate that complex changes occur, including transient suppression of mitochondrial metabolism and protein synthesis, but are also consistent with the hypothesis that the symbiosome is a phagosome that has undergone early arrest, raising the possibility of common mechanisms in the symbiotic interactions of corals and symbiotic sea anemones with their endosymbionts.

Item ID: 44212
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-294X
Keywords: Acropora, Symbiodinium, symbiosome, transcriptomics, RNA-Seq, transcriptome, gene expression, coral-algal symbiosis
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 2 of the following PhD thesis: Mohamed, Amin Roushdy (2016) Transcriptomics of coral-algal interactions: novel insights into the establishment of symbiosis. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, AIMS@JCU scholarship, Egyptian Government PhD scholarship, James Cook University
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 04:49
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310505 Gene expression (incl. microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310902 Animal cell and molecular biology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 80%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 20%
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