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BACKGROUND Reef-building corals live in symbiosis with a diverse range of dinoflagellate algae (genus Symbiodinium) that differentially influence the fitness of the coral holobiont. The comparative role of symbiont type in holobiont fitness in relation to host genotype or the environment, however, is largely unknown. We addressed this knowledge gap by(More)
The relation between corals and their algal endosymbionts has been a key to the success of scleractinian (stony) corals as modern reef-builders, but little is known about early stages in the establishment of the symbiosis. Here, we show that initial uptake of zooxanthellae by juvenile corals during natural infection is nonspecific (a potentially adaptive(More)
Recent studies have suggested that size homoplasy is a prevalent feature of microsatellites and is expected to increase with time of divergence among populations and taxa. In this study, we performed sequence analysis of alleles from a complex microsatellite locus (Pzeb4, initially isolated from Pseudotropheus (Maylandia) zebra) from 1 midwater-feeding and(More)
This study examines molecular relationships across a wide range of species in the mass spawning scleractinian coral genus Acropora. Molecular phylogenies were obtained for 28 species using DNA sequence analyses of two independent markers, a nuclear intron and the mtDNA putative control region. Although the compositions of the major clades in the phylogenies(More)
BACKGROUND Coral reefs worldwide face a variety of threats and many coral species are increasingly endangered. It is often assumed that rare coral species face higher risks of extinction because they have very small effective population sizes, a predicted consequence of which is decreased genetic diversity and adaptive potential. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL(More)
BACKGROUND Coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity, yet processes of diversification in these ecosystems are poorly understood. The environmental heterogeneity of coral reef environments could be an important contributor to diversification, however, evidence supporting ecological speciation in corals is sparse. Here, we present data from a widespread coral(More)
One characteristic of Indo-Pacific Acropora spp. is extremely high diversity in rDNA sequences at both the species and individual levels. In order to test the hypothesis that pseudogenes may contribute to this diversity, three kinds of analyses were conducted. First, for A. millepora (the species containing the most diverse suite of rDNA types), RT-PCR was(More)
The photobiology of two reef corals and the distribution of associated symbiont types were investigated over a depth gradient of 0-60 m at Scott Reef, Western Australia. Pachyseris speciosa hosted mainly the same Symbiodinium C type similar to C3 irrespective of sampling depth. By contrast, Seriatopora hystrix hosted predominantly Symbiodinium type D1a or(More)
BACKGROUND The Symbiodinium community associated with scleractinian corals is widely considered to be shaped by seawater temperature, as the coral's upper temperature tolerance is largely contingent on the Symbiodinium types harboured. Few studies have challenged this paradigm as knowledge of other environmental drivers on the distribution of Symbiodinium(More)
BACKGROUND Chimeras are organisms containing tissues or cells of two or more genetically distinct individuals, and are known to exist in at least nine phyla of protists, plants, and animals. Although widespread and common in marine invertebrates, the extent of chimerism in wild populations of reef corals is unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS The(More)