Comparative genomics explains the evolutionary success of reef-forming corals

Bhattacharya, Debashish, Agrawal, Shobhit, Aranda, Manuel, Baumgarten, Sebastian, Belcaid, Mahdi, Drake, Jeana L., Erwin, Douglas, Foret, Sylvain, Gates, Ruth D., Gruber, David F., Kamel, Bishoy, Lesser, Michael P., Levy, Oren, Liew, Yi Jin, MacManes, Matthew, Mass, Tali, Medina, Monica, Mehr, Shaadi, Meyer, Eli, Price, Dana C., Putnam, Hollie M., Qiu, Huan, Shinzato, Chuya, Shoguchi, Eiichi, Stokes, Alexander J., Tambutté, Sylvie, Tchernov, Dan, Voolstra, Christian R., Wagner, Nicole, Walker, Charles W., Weber, Andreas P.M., Weis, Virginia, Zelzion, Ehud, Zoccola, Didier, and Falkowski, Paul G. (2016) Comparative genomics explains the evolutionary success of reef-forming corals. eLife, 5. e13288. pp. 1-26.

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Abstract

Transcriptome and genome data from twenty stony coral species and a selection of reference bilaterians were studied to elucidate coral evolutionary history. We identified genes that encode the proteins responsible for the precipitation and aggregation of the aragonite skeleton on which the organisms live, and revealed a network of environmental sensors that coordinate responses of the host animals to temperature, light, and pH. Furthermore, we describe a variety of stress-related pathways, including apoptotic pathways that allow the host animals to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that are generated by their intracellular photosynthetic symbionts, and determine the fate of corals under environmental stress. Some of these genes arose through horizontal gene transfer and comprise at least 0.2% of the animal gene inventory. Our analysis elucidates the evolutionary strategies that have allowed symbiotic corals to adapt and thrive for hundreds of millions of years.

Item ID: 48388
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2050-084X
Additional Information:

© Copyright Bhattacharya et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), USA
Projects and Grants: NSF EF-1416785
Date Deposited: 25 May 2017 01:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060499 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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