[Coral-List] New paper on reproduction of the coral-excavating sponge Cliona delitrix

Andia Chaves-Fonnegra andiachaves at gmail.com
Fri Aug 14 11:03:01 EDT 2015

Dear coral-list,

Please fin attached our recent publication on the reproductive cycle of the
coral-excavating sponge Cliona delitrix:



*Cliona delitrix* is one of the most abundant and destructive
coral-excavating sponges on Caribbean reefs. However, basic aspects of its
reproductive biology, which largely determine the species propagation
potential, remain unknown. A 2-year study (October 2009 to September 2011)
was conducted to determine the reproductive cycle and gametogenesis of a *C..
delitrix* population located in a shallow reef in Florida, USA. Mesohyl
tissue collected from randomly chosen and tagged sponge individuals was
sampled one to several times a month, and analysed by light and
transmission electron microscopy (TEM). *Cliona delitrix* is oviparous and
gonochoric, except for a few simultaneous hermaphroditic individuals. The *C.
delitrix* reproductive cycle in Florida is from April to December, and is
triggered by an increase in seawater temperature to 25°C. Oogenesis and
spermatogenesis were asynchronous among individuals; with different cohorts
of oocytes co-occurring in females, and spermatic cysts in males. Granulose
cells acted as nurse cells, contributing to the growth and maturation of
both female and male gametes. Spawning of gametes was not always
synchronized with full moon phase. Unlike most other oviparous sponges, the
reproductive cycle of *C. delitrix* is versatile and includes multiple
spawning events during the summer of each year. This characteristic
maximizes sponge propagation on coral reefs during the warmer months of the
year, particularly when thermal stress induces coral mortality. This
aspect, combined with its success on polluted areas, make *C. delitrix* a
suitable bioindicator of coral reef health.

If you are interested in a PDF copy, please contact me.


Andia Chaves Fonnegra
Postdoctoral Researcher
NOVA Southeastern University
NSU Oceanographic Center
8000 North Ocean Drive
Dania Beach, Florida, 33004

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