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Blue light regulation of host pigment in reef-building corals

Blue light regulation of host pigment in reef-building corals
Blue light regulation of host pigment in reef-building corals
Reef-building corals harbor an astounding diversity of colorful GFP (green fluorescent protein)-like proteins. These pigments can easily be detected and thus may serve as intrinsic optical markers of physiological condition, provided that the determinants that control their expression are well understood. Here we have analyzed the effect of light on the regulation of major classes of GFPlike pigments in corals of the taxa Acroporidae, Merulinidae and Pocilloporidae. Pigment levels in the tissues of all studied species were observed to be tightly controlled by light. Two groups could be distinguished by their distinctly different light-dependent regulation. The low-threshold group contains mainly cyan fluorescent proteins; they are expressed in considerable amounts at very low light intensities, and their tissue content increases with light to a maximum at a photon flux of 400 µmol m–2 s–1. The high-threshold group includes green and red fluorescent proteins as well as non-fluorescent chromoproteins. These pigments are essentially absent in corals grown under very low light, but their tissue content increases in proportion to photon flux densities >400 µmol m–2 s–1. The enhancement of coral pigmentation is primarily dependent on the blue component of the spectrum and regulated at the transcriptional level. The specific regulation patterns suggest complex functions of GFP-like proteins related to the photobiology of reef corals. Moreover, the distinct response of coral coloration to light climate promises that the pigment complement can also be predicted in natural habitats. Our results stress the potential of GFP-like proteins as intrinsic markers of physiological processes, as well as overall health, in corals.
97-106
D'Angelo, Cecilia
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Denzel, Andrea
41266ff8-cbf4-4195-96ab-07824ec50838
Vogt, Alexander
3de2d0d9-468c-46ac-8f6c-721a9b1bd7a8
Matz, Mikhail V.
9a128396-eaf1-4c49-aac4-aa160d01e393
Oswald, Franz
a5b02f2d-8439-411b-b5ad-999629cee58f
Salih, Anya
fb71f3bf-e1aa-4b78-a2c6-7ab5eaf4bdd4
Nienhaus, G. Ulrich
64eb2ac6-4fa9-416c-a066-f096d79307cb
Wiedenmann, Jörg
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7
D'Angelo, Cecilia
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Denzel, Andrea
41266ff8-cbf4-4195-96ab-07824ec50838
Vogt, Alexander
3de2d0d9-468c-46ac-8f6c-721a9b1bd7a8
Matz, Mikhail V.
9a128396-eaf1-4c49-aac4-aa160d01e393
Oswald, Franz
a5b02f2d-8439-411b-b5ad-999629cee58f
Salih, Anya
fb71f3bf-e1aa-4b78-a2c6-7ab5eaf4bdd4
Nienhaus, G. Ulrich
64eb2ac6-4fa9-416c-a066-f096d79307cb
Wiedenmann, Jörg
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7

D'Angelo, Cecilia, Denzel, Andrea, Vogt, Alexander, Matz, Mikhail V., Oswald, Franz, Salih, Anya, Nienhaus, G. Ulrich and Wiedenmann, Jörg (2008) Blue light regulation of host pigment in reef-building corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 364, 97-106. (doi:10.3354/meps07588).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Reef-building corals harbor an astounding diversity of colorful GFP (green fluorescent protein)-like proteins. These pigments can easily be detected and thus may serve as intrinsic optical markers of physiological condition, provided that the determinants that control their expression are well understood. Here we have analyzed the effect of light on the regulation of major classes of GFPlike pigments in corals of the taxa Acroporidae, Merulinidae and Pocilloporidae. Pigment levels in the tissues of all studied species were observed to be tightly controlled by light. Two groups could be distinguished by their distinctly different light-dependent regulation. The low-threshold group contains mainly cyan fluorescent proteins; they are expressed in considerable amounts at very low light intensities, and their tissue content increases with light to a maximum at a photon flux of 400 µmol m–2 s–1. The high-threshold group includes green and red fluorescent proteins as well as non-fluorescent chromoproteins. These pigments are essentially absent in corals grown under very low light, but their tissue content increases in proportion to photon flux densities >400 µmol m–2 s–1. The enhancement of coral pigmentation is primarily dependent on the blue component of the spectrum and regulated at the transcriptional level. The specific regulation patterns suggest complex functions of GFP-like proteins related to the photobiology of reef corals. Moreover, the distinct response of coral coloration to light climate promises that the pigment complement can also be predicted in natural habitats. Our results stress the potential of GFP-like proteins as intrinsic markers of physiological processes, as well as overall health, in corals.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 29 July 2008
Published date: 2008
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 58980
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/58980
PURE UUID: aab25c87-0823-494c-a71a-b0ed15828807
ORCID for Jörg Wiedenmann: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2128-2943

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Aug 2008
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 01:45

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