Heritability of the Symbiodinium community in vertically-and horizontally-transmitting broadcast spawning corals

Quigley, Kate M., Willis, Bette L., and Bay, Line K. (2017) Heritability of the Symbiodinium community in vertically-and horizontally-transmitting broadcast spawning corals. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). 8219.

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Abstract

The dinoflagellate-coral partnership influences the coral holobiont's tolerance to thermal stress and bleaching. However, the comparative roles of host genetic versus environmental factors in determining the composition of this symbiosis are largely unknown. Here we quantify the heritability of the initial Symbiodinium communities for two broadcast-spawning corals with different symbiont transmission modes: Acropora tenuis has environmental acquisition, whereas Montipora digitata has maternal transmission. Using high throughput sequencing of the ITS-2 region to characterize communities in parents, juveniles and eggs, we describe previously undocumented Symbiodinium diversity and dynamics in both corals. After one month of uptake in the field, Symbiodinium communities associated with A. tenuis juveniles were dominated by A3, C1, D1, A-type CCMP828, and D1a in proportional abundances conserved between experiments in two years. M. digitata eggs were predominantly characterized by C15, D1, and A3. In contrast to current paradigms, host genetic influences accounted for a surprising 29% of phenotypic variation in Symbiodinium communities in the horizontally-transmitting A. tenuis, but only 62% in the vertically-transmitting M. digitata. Our results reveal hitherto unknown flexibility in the acquisition of Symbiodinium communities and substantial heritability in both species, providing material for selection to produce partnerships that are locally adapted to changing environmental conditions.

Item ID: 54057
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information:

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE1401000020, ARC DP130101421
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 05:08
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060403 Developmental Genetics (incl Sex Determination) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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