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Exploring mechanisms that affect coral cooperation: symbiont transmission mode, cell density and community composition

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dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor University Of Southern California
dc.contributor Univ Southern Calif
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Dept Biol Sci
dc.contributor.author BAY, LINE K.
dc.contributor.author KENKEL, CARLY D.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-12-23T18:20:50Z
dc.date.accessioned 2018-12-23T18:20:50Z
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-09T01:28:46Z
dc.date.available 2018-12-23T18:20:50Z
dc.date.available 2018-12-23T18:20:50Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-09T01:28:46Z
dc.date.issued 2018-12-03
dc.identifier.citation Kenkel CD, Bay LK (2018) Exploring mechanisms that affect coral cooperation: symbiont transmission mode, cell density and community composition. PeerJ 6: e6047
dc.identifier.issn 2167-8359
dc.identifier.uri http://epubs.aims.gov.au/11068/14904
dc.description.abstract The coral symbiosis is the linchpin of the reef ecosystem, yet the mechanisms that promote and maintain cooperation between hosts and symbionts have not been fully resolved. We used a phylogenetically controlled design to investigate the role of vertical symbiont transmission, an evolutionary mechanism in which symbionts are inherited directly from parents, predicted to enhance cooperation and holobiont fitness. Six species of coral, three vertical transmitters and their closest horizontally transmitting relatives, which exhibit environmental acquisition of symbionts, were fragmented and subjected to a 2-week thermal stress experiment. Symbiont cell density, photosynthetic function and translocation of photosynthetically fixed carbon between symbionts and hosts were quantified to assess changes in physiological performance and cooperation. All species exhibited similar decreases in symbiont cell density and net photosynthesis in response to elevated temperature, consistent with the onset of bleaching. Yet baseline cooperation, or translocation of photosynthate, in ambient conditions and the reduction in cooperation in response to elevated temperature differed among species. Although Porites lobata and Galaxea acrhelia did exhibit the highest levels of baseline cooperation, we did not observe universally higher levels of cooperation in vertically transmitting species. Post hoc sequencing of the Symbiodinium ITS-2 locus was used to investigate the potential role of differences in symbiont community composition. Interestingly, reductions in cooperation at the onset of bleaching tended to be associated with increased symbiont community diversity among coral species. The theoretical benefits of evolving vertical transmission are based on the underlying assumption that the host-symbiont relationship becomes genetically uniform, thereby reducing competition among symbionts. Taken together, our results suggest that it may not be vertical transmission per se that influences host-symbiont cooperation, but genetic uniformity of the symbiont community, although additional work is needed to test this hypothesis.
dc.description.sponsorship An NSF International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, DBI-1401165, to Carly D Kenkel and funding from the Australian Institute of Marine Science to Line K. Bay, supported this work. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
dc.language English
dc.subject Evolution
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.subject Reef Corals
dc.subject Flexibility
dc.subject Carbon Translocation
dc.subject Zooxanthellae
dc.subject Productivity
dc.subject Diversity
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject Bleaching
dc.subject Climate-change
dc.subject Algal Endosymbionts
dc.subject Virulence
dc.subject Patterns
dc.subject Symbiosis
dc.subject Transmission Mode
dc.subject Reef
dc.title Exploring mechanisms that affect coral cooperation: symbiont transmission mode, cell density and community composition
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.7717/peerj.6047
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000452458500010


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