[Coral-List] ICRS 201 Workshop: Symbiodiniaceae Taxonomy and Diversity Tools

Raúl Goch gonzalez.pech.ra at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 14:26:40 UTC 2020

Hi all,

Registering for ICRS soon? When you do, don’t forget to sign up for some of
the great workshops on offer, most of which are free with admission. Please
consider attending our Symbiodiniaceae taxonomy workshop (“How can we
develop new tools and best practices to accurately delimit Symbiodiniaceae
diversity in reef research?”). It will be a friendly environment to discuss
anything and everything related to resolving symbiont diversity and
incorporating said diversity into experimental designs. We’ll take a
historical look at the “zooxanthellae”, cover some new genera and species,
and review the latest molecular tools and genomic resources (*e.g.*
SymPortal). We encourage anyone with interest to attend, especially
students and researchers new to the field. For more information, see the
abstract below. We hope that you are staying safe during these unusual
times and look forward to catching up with you soon in Bremen!

John, Matt, Ben, & Raul


How can we develop new tools and best practices to accurately delimit
Symbiodiniaceae diversity in reef research?


The photosynthetic symbionts of reef-building corals, dinoflagellates in
the family Symbiodiniaceae, are inherently challenging to resolve
taxonomically because individual cells are small and morphologically
non-descript. Hidden within this simple form are at least 15 distinct,
genus-level lineages containing extensive genetic and phenotypic diversity.
As scleractinian corals receive a significant portion of their daily carbon
requirements in the form of photosynthates, these micro-algae play a
central role in the maintenance of reef health and function. Critically,
functional traits that vary across Symbiodiniaceae lineages appear to
mediate coral survival during stress. As such, coral reef research relies
on the accurate delineation of these endosymbionts. In this 2.5 hour
workshop, four core themes will be presented and discussed: I) the history
of “*Symbiodinium*” taxonomy and the contemporary systematic framework of
the family Symbiodiniaceae; II) the genetic resolution provided by
different gene markers within Symbiodiniaceae; III) analytical approaches
for studying the diversity and community composition of mutualistic and
free-living Symbiodiniaceae; and IV) the use of ‘-omics’ data for
phylogenetic and functional classification of Symbiodiniaceae taxa and
‘cybertypes’. Presentations will be given by the co-chairs and followed by
10-minute question and answer sessions. The remainder of the time will be
reserved for an open discussion period with a larger panel of invited
experts. From this workshop we aim to gather feedback from participants
regarding how best to facilitate practical advances in the field.


John Parkinson, Matt Nitschke, Benjamin Hume, & Raul Gonzalez-Pech

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