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Contributions of host and symbiont pigments to the coloration of reef corals

Oswald, F., Schmitt, F.M., Leutenegger, A., Ivanchenko, S., D'Angelo, C., Salih, A., Maslakova, S., Bulina, M., Schirmbeck, R., Nienhaus, G.U., Matz, M.V. and Wiedenmann, J. (2007) Contributions of host and symbiont pigments to the coloration of reef corals Febs Journal, 274, (4), pp. 1102-1122. (doi:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2007.05661.x).

Record type: Article


For a variety of coral species, we have studied the molecular origin of their coloration to assess the contributions of host and symbiont pigments. For the corals Catalaphyllia jardinei and an orange-emitting color morph of Lobophyllia hemprichii, the pigments belong to a particular class of green fluorescent protein-like proteins that change their color from green to red upon irradiation with 400 nm light. The optical absorption and emission properties of these proteins were characterized in detail. Their spectra were found to be similar to those of phycoerythrin from cyanobacterial symbionts. To unambiguously determine the molecular origin of the coloration, we performed immunochemical studies using double diffusion in gel analysis on tissue extracts, including also a third coral species, Montastrea cavernosa, which allowed us to attribute the red fluorescent coloration to green-to-red photoconvertible fluorescent proteins. The red fluorescent proteins are localized mainly in the ectodermal tissue and contribute up to 7.0% of the total soluble cellular proteins in these species. Distinct spatial distributions of green and cyan fluorescent proteins were observed for the tissues of M. cavernosa. This observation may suggest that differently colored green fluorescent protein-like proteins have different, specific functions. In addition to green fluorescent protein-like proteins, the pigments of zooxanthellae have a strong effect on the visual appearance of the latter species.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 23 January 2007
Published date: February 2007
Keywords: coral pigment, EosFP, fluorescent protein, gfp, scleractinia
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science


Local EPrints ID: 48665
ISSN: 1742-464X
PURE UUID: 1446be75-b2af-4dae-a744-93850d24edad
ORCID for J. Wiedenmann: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 05 Oct 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:58

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Author: F. Oswald
Author: F.M. Schmitt
Author: A. Leutenegger
Author: S. Ivanchenko
Author: C. D'Angelo
Author: A. Salih
Author: S. Maslakova
Author: M. Bulina
Author: R. Schirmbeck
Author: G.U. Nienhaus
Author: M.V. Matz
Author: J. Wiedenmann ORCID iD

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