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Symbiodinium thermophilum sp. nov., a thermotolerant symbiotic alga prevalent in corals of the world's hottest sea, the Persian/Arabian Gulf

Symbiodinium thermophilum sp. nov., a thermotolerant symbiotic alga prevalent in corals of the world's hottest sea, the Persian/Arabian Gulf
Symbiodinium thermophilum sp. nov., a thermotolerant symbiotic alga prevalent in corals of the world's hottest sea, the Persian/Arabian Gulf
Coral reefs are in rapid decline on a global scale due to human activities and a changing climate. Shallow water reefs depend on the obligatory symbiosis between the habitat forming coral host and its algal symbiont from the genus Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae). This association is highly sensitive to thermal perturbations and temperatures as little as 1°C above the average summer maxima can cause the breakdown of this symbiosis, termed coral bleaching. Predicting the capacity of corals to survive the expected increase in seawater temperatures depends strongly on our understanding of the thermal tolerance of the symbiotic algae. Here we use molecular phylogenetic analysis of four genetic markers to describe Symbiodinium thermophilum, sp. nov. from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, a thermally tolerant coral symbiont. Phylogenetic inference using the non-coding region of the chloroplast psbA gene resolves S. thermophilum as a monophyletic lineage with large genetic distances from any other ITS2 C3 type found outside the Gulf. Through the characterisation of Symbiodinium associations of 6 species (5 genera) of Gulf corals, we demonstrate that S. thermophilum is the prevalent symbiont all year round in the world's hottest sea, the southern Persian/Arabian Gulf.
Hume, B.C.C.
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D'Angelo, C.
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Smith, E.G.
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Stevens, J.R.
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Burt, J.
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Wiedenmann, J.
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Hume, B.C.C.
ba5ae4b2-4e84-431c-985a-7c89cec5f976
D'Angelo, C.
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Smith, E.G.
594ffefb-a5eb-4aca-b076-b6c6d113e58f
Stevens, J.R.
454d4fa8-a3b6-43cf-81bc-76aab0f184ab
Burt, J.
062dac5e-7cc2-4ee7-b2ee-018f799f2bc3
Wiedenmann, J.
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7

Hume, B.C.C., D'Angelo, C., Smith, E.G., Stevens, J.R., Burt, J. and Wiedenmann, J. (2015) Symbiodinium thermophilum sp. nov., a thermotolerant symbiotic alga prevalent in corals of the world's hottest sea, the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Scientific Reports, 5, [8562]. (doi:10.1038/srep08562).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Coral reefs are in rapid decline on a global scale due to human activities and a changing climate. Shallow water reefs depend on the obligatory symbiosis between the habitat forming coral host and its algal symbiont from the genus Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae). This association is highly sensitive to thermal perturbations and temperatures as little as 1°C above the average summer maxima can cause the breakdown of this symbiosis, termed coral bleaching. Predicting the capacity of corals to survive the expected increase in seawater temperatures depends strongly on our understanding of the thermal tolerance of the symbiotic algae. Here we use molecular phylogenetic analysis of four genetic markers to describe Symbiodinium thermophilum, sp. nov. from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, a thermally tolerant coral symbiont. Phylogenetic inference using the non-coding region of the chloroplast psbA gene resolves S. thermophilum as a monophyletic lineage with large genetic distances from any other ITS2 C3 type found outside the Gulf. Through the characterisation of Symbiodinium associations of 6 species (5 genera) of Gulf corals, we demonstrate that S. thermophilum is the prevalent symbiont all year round in the world's hottest sea, the southern Persian/Arabian Gulf.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 January 2015
Published date: 27 February 2015
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374851
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374851
PURE UUID: 1de21530-5763-45a2-acb2-cb87d1657bc9
ORCID for J. Wiedenmann: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2128-2943

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Date deposited: 03 Mar 2015 15:13
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 01:58

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Contributors

Author: B.C.C. Hume
Author: C. D'Angelo
Author: E.G. Smith
Author: J.R. Stevens
Author: J. Burt
Author: J. Wiedenmann ORCID iD

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