[Coral-List] New species of Breviolum (Clade B) common to Caribbean corals

Todd LaJeunesse tcl3 at psu.edu
Mon Dec 10 15:27:31 UTC 2018

We wish to call your attention to a recent paper published in the Journal
of Eukaryotic Microbiology, “New species of closely related endosymbiotic
dinoflagellates in the Greater Caribbean have niches corresponding to host
coral phylogeny” (*https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jeu.12692
<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jeu.12692>)*. The findings
from this work further indicate the strong pull of host specialization on
processes of speciation among the Symbiodiniaceae. Three new species of
Breviolum (formerly Clade B) are described in the paper, two of which are
important symbionts to many Atlantic reef-building corals in the Families
Meandrinidae and Faviinae and inhabit these hosts in shallow water, down to
10m, across the Greater Caribbean. The third described species is only
known from the threatened pillar coral Dendrogyra cylindrus. These new
binomials raise the number of described species of Breviolum to nine, each
with its own particular ecological attributes.

Past understanding of symbiont physiology and adaptation was hindered by
ambiguous taxonomy. The recent systematic revision elevating the
genus Symbiodinium to family status (Symbiodiniaceae) and naming many new
genera (formerly Clades) constituted a necessary step toward improving
scientific communication and description of these eukaryotic microbes and
their mutualistic symbioses with invertebrates and protists. With this
systematic and taxonomic framework, the task ahead is to delimit and
describe more species in each of these new genera, especially ones that are
among the most widespread and prevalent in the ecosystems where they
occur. Resolving species diversity among micro-algal endosymbionts should
benefit future research and synthesis regarding functional ecology, niche
diversification, host-symbiont co-evolution etc...

Sincerest regards and happy holidays,

Allison, Andie, and Todd

Todd C. LaJeunesse PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
327 Mueller Laboratory
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

WebSITE: https://symbiosisecoevo.weebly.com/

Office: 814 863 2038
Fax: 814 865 9131

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