[Coral-List] RNAseq study highlights expression differences between closely-related Symbiodinium species and individual strains

John Parkinson jparkinson at psu.edu
Mon Mar 28 09:56:55 EDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

We wanted to announce a new publication in Genome Biology and Evolution
(GBE) entitled "Gene expression variation resolves species and individual
strains among coral-associated dinoflagellates within the genus

Genomic approaches are increasingly used to analyze the symbioses between
corals and their algal symbionts (Symbiodinium). Fixed gene expression
differences exist between members of different Symbiodinium clades, owing
in part to the great time span since their evolutionary divergence. The
multispecies comparative framework used in this paper highlights that many
significant differences in gene expression also exist between species
within a clade, as well as among individual strains within species. We
found that expression variation among species frequently involved genes
important to photosynthesis, likely reflecting niche specialization.
Differences between strains within species were enriched for metabolic
processes such as fatty acid synthesis. Our results indicate that
fine-scale variation should be an important consideration when designing
and interpreting Symbiodinium genomic experiments, and that resolving
species lineages can improve our ability to address questions about
symbiont physiology, ecology, and evolution with corals.

The open access article is available here:


Additionally, the reference assemblies for each Clade B species are
available for download at:


while the raw data for each of the 10 strains are available at the NCBI
Sequence Read Archive under the following accession numbers:

PRJNA 274855

We hope these data will be useful for future comparative work.

John Parkinson & coauthors


John Parkinson, Ph.D.

Dept. Biol., Chem., & Mar. Sci.
University of the Ryukyus
1 Senbaru, Nishihara
Okinawa, Japan 903-0213

email: jparkinson at psu.edu
twitter: @parkinsonje <http://www.twitter.com/parkinsonje>
website: thelifeaquatic.net


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