Transcriptomic analyses highlight the likely metabolic consequences of colonization of a cnidarian host by native or non-native Symbiodinium species

Lin, Mei-Fang, Takahashi, Shunichi, Foret, Sylvain, Davy, Simon K., and Miller, David J. (2019) Transcriptomic analyses highlight the likely metabolic consequences of colonization of a cnidarian host by native or non-native Symbiodinium species. Biology Open, 8 (3). bio038281.

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Reef-building corals and some other cnidarians form symbiotic relationships with members of the dinoflagellate family Symbiodinaceae. As Symbiodinaceae is a highly diverse taxon, the physiological interactions between its members and their hosts are assumed to differ between associations. The presence of different symbiont types is known to affect expression levels of specific host genes, but knowledge of the effects on the transcriptome more broadly remains limited. In the present study, transcriptome profiling was conducted on the tropical corallimorpharian, Ricordea yuma, following the establishment of symbiosis with either the ‘homologous’ symbiont Symbiodinium goreaui (also known as Cladocopium goreaui; ITS2 type C1) or ‘heterologous’ symbionts (predominantly S. trenchii, which is also known as Durusdinium trenchii; ITS2 type D1a) isolated from a different corallimorpharian host (Rhodactis indosinensis). Transcriptomic analyses showed that genes encoding host glycogen biosynthesis pathway components are more highly induced during colonization by the homologous symbiont than by the heterologous symbiont. Similar patterns were also observed for several other genes thought to facilitate symbiotic nutrient exchange, including those involved in lipid translocation/storage and metabolite transport. The gene expression results presented here imply that colonization by homologous or heterologous Symbiodinium types may have very different metabolic consequences for the Ricordea host, supporting the notion that even though some cnidarians may be able to form novel symbioses after bleaching, the metabolic performance of these may be compromised.

Item ID: 62059
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2046-6390
Keywords: Corallimorpharia, Recolonization, Symbiodinium, Symbiosis
Copyright Information: © 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionLicense (, which permits unrestricted use,distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.
Funders: James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Projects and Grants: ARC grant #CE14100020
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2020 03:31
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 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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