Bicarbonate transporters in corals point towards a key step in the evolution of cnidarian calcification

Zoccola, Didier, Ganot, Philippe, Bertucci, Anthony, Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha, Techer, Nathalie, Voolstra, Christian, Aranda, Manuel, Tambutté, Eric, Allemand, Denis, Casey, Joseph R., and Tambutté, Sylvie (2015) Bicarbonate transporters in corals point towards a key step in the evolution of cnidarian calcification. Scientific Reports, 5. 09983. pp. 1-11.

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Abstract

The bicarbonate ion (HCO 3-) is involved in two major physiological processes in corals, biomineralization and photosynthesis, yet no molecular data on bicarbonate transporters are available. Here, we characterized plasma membrane-type HCO 3- transporters in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Eight solute carrier (SLC) genes were found in the genome: five homologs of mammalian-type SLC4 family members, and three of mammalian-type SLC26 family members. Using relative expression analysis and immunostaining, we analyzed the cellular distribution of these transporters and conducted phylogenetic analyses to determine the extent of conservation among cnidarian model organisms. Our data suggest that the SLC4γ isoform is specific to scleractinian corals and responsible for supplying HCO 3- to the site of calcification. Taken together, SLC4γ appears to be one of the key genes for skeleton building in corals, which bears profound implications for our understanding of coral biomineralization and the evolution of scleractinian corals within cnidarians.

Item ID: 44436
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
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Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 00:47
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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