The host transcriptome remains unaltered during the establishment of coral-algal symbioses: FAST TRACK

Christian R. Voolstra, Jodi A. Schwarz, Julia Schnetzer, Shinichi Sunagawa, Michael K. Desalvo, Alina M. Szmant, Mary Alice Coffroth, Mónica Medina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

Coral reefs are based on the symbiotic relationship between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. We followed gene expression of coral larvae of Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata after exposure to Symbiodinium strains that differed in their ability to establish symbioses. We show that the coral host transcriptome remains almost unchanged during infection by competent symbionts, but is massively altered by symbionts that fail to establish symbioses. Our data suggest that successful coral-algal symbioses depend mainly on the symbionts' ability to enter the host in a stealth manner rather than a more active response from the coral host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1823-1833
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Ecology
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Keywords

  • Algae
  • Coral
  • Host
  • Symbiont
  • Symbiosis
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

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