Mode of zooxanthella transmission does not affect zooxanthella diversity in acroporid corals

van Oppen, Madeleine J.H. (2004) Mode of zooxanthella transmission does not affect zooxanthella diversity in acroporid corals. Marine Biology, 144 (1). pp. 1-7.

[img] PDF (Published Version)
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Two distinct modes of algal endosymbiont acquisition exist in corals, a direct transmission from the parental colony to the eggs and a larval or post-larval uptake from the environment. The former, maternal-transmission mode is expected to be a more closed system, while the latter is believed to be an open system. Here we test the hypothesis that the diversity of symbionts in closed systems is lower than that in open systems. We examine the identity and diversity of the algal endosymbionts (zooxanthellae) in 25 Montipora species sampled from Irian Jaya (Indonesia) and Magnetic Island (central Great Barrier Reef) and compare the results with those previously obtained from Acropora species, which belong to the same family. All Montipora colonies examined harbour clade C zooxanthellae, with two colonies harbouring both clade C and D zooxanthellae simultaneously. Two algal strains (named C· and D· in this study) present in Montipora have not been observed in Acropora, and may have co-evolved with Montipora. Symbiodinium C· shows approximately 5% sequence divergence from C strains observed in Acropora spp. and occurs in 76% of the colonies examined. Nevertheless, several other C strains commonly found in other corals occur in some of the Montipora colonies. Montipora species transmit their algal endosymbionts directly to the eggs, while Acropora species have to acquire zooxanthellae from the environment every generation. Contrary to our expectations, the diversity of zooxanthellae is similar for the two genera, indicating that the mode of symbiont transmission (i.e. maternal versus horizontal) does not affect symbiont diversity in acroporid corals.

Item ID: 6793
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Keywords: Acroporidae; diversity; montipora; symbiodynium
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2010 23:55
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 4
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page