The many faced symbiotic snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis, Anthozoa): host and symbiont genetic differentiation among colour morphs

Barbara Porro, Cédric Mallien, Benjamin Hume, Alexis Pey, Emilie Aubin, Richard Christen, Christian R. Voolstra, Paola Furla, Didier Forcioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

How can we explain morphological variations in a holobiont? The genetic determinism of phenotypes is not always obvious and could be circumstantial in complex organisms. In symbiotic cnidarians, it is known that morphology or colour can misrepresent a complex genetic and symbiotic diversity. Anemonia viridis is a symbiotic sea anemone from temperate seas. This species displays different colour morphs based on pigment content and lives in a wide geographical range. Here, we investigated whether colour morph differentiation correlated with host genetic diversity or associated symbiotic genetic diversity by using RAD sequencing and symbiotic dinoflagellate typing of 140 sea anemones from the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea. We did not observe genetic differentiation among colour morphs of A. viridis at the animal host or symbiont level, rejecting the hypothesis that A. viridis colour morphs correspond to species level differences. Interestingly, we however identified at least four independent animal host genetic lineages in A. viridis that differed in their associated symbiont populations. In conclusion, although the functional role of the different morphotypes of A. viridis remains to be determined, our approach provides new insights on the existence of cryptic species within A. viridis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-366
Number of pages16
JournalHeredity
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2019

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