[Coral-List] C3 symbionts in the “world’s hottest reefs”

Wiedenmann J. joerg.wiedenmann at noc.soton.ac.uk
Thu Jan 31 18:11:55 EST 2013

Dear colleagues,

Please allow me to share with you our recent finding that corals from Abu Dhabi waters, (UAE, Persian/Arabian Gulf) which survive summer temperatures of up to 36 degree Celcius on a regular basis host mostly the “generalist” Symbiodinium C3 as dominant symbiont. Even Porites sp. that has shown a tendency to associate with C15 elsewhere hosted dominantly C3 in Abu Dhabi.. 

The paper – Hume B., D’Angelo C., Burt J., Baker A.C., Riegl B. and Wiedenmann J. (2013) Corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf as models for thermotolerant reef-builders: Prevalence of clade C3 Symbiodinium, host fluorescence and ex situ temperature tolerance – is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.11.032.

For your interest, I have attached the abstract below.

With best wishes,

Joerg Wiedenmann

Corals in the Arabian/Persian Gulf endure summer temperatures of up to 36 degree C, making them ideal subjects to study the mechanisms underlying thermal tolerance. Unexpectedly, we found the ‘‘generalist’’ Symbiodinium clade C3 to be the prevalent symbiont among seven coral species from Abu Dhabi (UAE) waters. Moreover, C3 represented the only dominant symbiont type in Porites spp. from this region. The ‘‘thermotolerant’’ symbionts D1a and C15 were not encountered, indicating that the association with these symbionts cannot be the sole reason for the heat tolerance of Gulf corals. The association of Porites lobata with specific symbiont types (C3 vs. C15) in samples from habitats with very different temperature regimes (Abu Dhabi vs. Fiji) remained unaffected by laboratory culture. During temperature stress experiments specimens from both locations strongly downregulated green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like pigments. However, the Abu Dhabi samples were less prone to bleaching and showed lower mortality.

PD Dr. Joerg Wiedenmann
National Oceanography Centre
University of Southampton, Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton, SO14 3ZH
email: joerg.wiedenmann at noc.soton.ac.uk
Mobile: +44 (0)7912564356

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