[Coral-List] New Manuscript Avaliable: Molecular reproductive characteristics of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis

Luc Rougee rougee at hawaii.edu
Wed Aug 12 09:36:08 EDT 2015

Dear Coral List Community,

A new paper on molecular aspects of reproduction in coral entitled: “Molecular
reproductive characteristics of the reef coral *Pocillopora damicornis*” is
being published in the journal of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology
Part A. (Volume 189, November 2015, Pages 38-44, ISSN 1095-6433)

Open access download to this article is available until September 26th at
the following link:


Coral reefs are an indispensible worldwide resource, accounting for
billions of dollars in cultural, economic, and ecological services. An
understanding of coral reproduction is essential to determining the effects
of environmental stressors on coral reef ecosystems and their persistence
into the future. Here, we describe the presence of and changes in steroidal
hormones along with associated steroidogenic and steroid removal enzymes
during the reproductive cycle of the brooding, pan-Pacific, hermaphroditic
coral,Pocillopora damicornis. Detectable levels of 17β-estradiol, estrone,
progesterone and testosterone were consistently detected over two
consecutive lunar reproductive cycles in coral tissue. Intra-colony
variation in steroid hormone levels ranged between 1.5- and 2.2-fold and
were not statistically different. Activities of the steroidogenic enzymes
3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and cytochrome P450 (CYP) 17 dehydrogenase
were detectable and did not fluctuate over the reproductive cycle.
Aromatase-like activity was detected during the lunar reproductive cycle
with no significant fluctuations. Activities of regeneration enzymes did
not fluctuate over the lunar cycle; however, activity of the clearance
enzyme UDP-glucuronosyl transferases increased significantly (ANOVA, post
hoc p < 0.01) during the two weeks before and after peak larval release
(planulation), suggesting that the activity of this enzyme family may be
linked to the reproductive state of the coral. Sulfotransferase enzymes
could not be detected. Our findings provide the first data defining normal
physiological and lunar/reproductive variability in steroidal enzymes in a
coral species with respect to their potential role in coral reproduction.

Luc Rougee
Lead Author
rougee at hawaii.edu

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