[Coral-List] another coral color paper

mikhail matz matz at whitney.ufl.edu
Fri Jun 16 10:48:23 EDT 2006


Since there seems to be some interest in the subject, here is another 
paper of ours about evolution of coral color diversity:

Field, S. F., Bulina, M. Y., Kelmanson, I. V., Bielawski J. P. and Matz, 
M. V. Adaptive evolution of multi-colored fluorescent proteins in 
reef-building corals. /J. Mol. Evol./, 2006, *62*:332-339.

Here we investigate the evolutionary scenarios that led to the 
appearance of fluorescent color diversity in reef-building corals. We 
show that the mutations that have been responsible for the generation of 
new cyan and red phenotypes from the ancestral green were fixed with the 
help of positive natural selection. This fact strongly suggests that the 
color diversity is a product of adaptive evolution. An unexpected 
finding was a set of residues arranged as an intermolecular binding 
interface, which was also identified as a target of positive selection 
but is nevertheless not related to color diversification. We hypothesize 
that multicolored fluorescent proteins evolved as part of a mechanism 
regulating the relationships between the coral and its algal 
endosymbionts (zooxanthellae). We envision that the effect of the 
proteins’ fluorescence on algal physiology may be achieved not only 
through photosynthesis modulation, but also through regulatory 
photosensors analogous to phytochromes and cryptochromes of higher 
plants. Such a regulation would require relatively subtle, but 
spectrally precise, modifications of the light field. Evolution of such 
a mechanism would explain both the adaptive diversification of colors 
and the coevolutionary chase at the putative algae-protein binding 
interface in coral fluorescent proteins.

I have lots of PDFs left....



Mikhail V. Matz
Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience
University of Florida
9505 Ocean Shore Blvd
St Augustine FL 32080
phone 904-461-4025
fax 509-562-4749
web www.whitney.ufl.edu/research_programs/matz.htm

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