Biogeography of the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodiniaceae) community associated with the brooding coral Favia gravida in the Atlantic Ocean

Type Article
Date 2019-03
Language English
Author(s) Teschima Mariana M.1, Garrido Amana1, Paris Alexandra2, Nunes FlaviaORCID3, Zilberberg Carla4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biodiversidade e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2 : Departamento de Biologia Marinha, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3 : Laboratoire d’Ecologie Benthique Côtière (LEBCO), DYNECO, Ifremer Centre Bretagne, Plouzané, France
4 : Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, Instituto Coral Vivo, Parque Yayá, Santa Cruz Cabrália, Bahia, Brazil
Source Plos One (1932-6203) (Public Library of Science (PLoS)), 2019-03 , Vol. 14 , N. 3 , P. e0213519 (18p.)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0213519
WOS© Times Cited 16

Zooxanthellate corals live in symbiosis with phototrophic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae, enabling the host coral to dwell in shallow, nutrient-poor marine waters. The South Atlantic Ocean is characterized by low coral diversity with high levels of endemism. However, little is known about coral–dinoflagellate associations in the region. This study examined the diversity of Symbiodiniaceae associated with the scleractinian coral Favia gravida across its distributional range using the ITS-2 marker. This brooding coral endemic to the South Atlantic can be found across a wide range of latitudes and longitudes, including the Mid-Atlantic islands. Even though it occurs primarily in shallower environments, F. gravida is among the few coral species that live in habitats with extreme environmental conditions (high irradiance, temperature, and turbidity) such as very shallow tide pools. In the present study, we show that F. gravida exhibits some degree of flexibility in its symbiotic association with zooxanthellae across its range. F. gravida associates predominantly with Cladocopium C3 (ITS2 type Symbiodinium C3) but also with Symbiodinium A3, Symbiodinium linucheae (ITS2 type A4), Cladocopium C1, Cladocopium C130, and Fugacium F3. Symbiont diversity varied across biogeographic regions (Symbiodinium A3 and S. linucheae were found in the Tropical Eastern Atlantic, Cladocopium C1 in the Mid-Atlantic, and other subtypes in the Southwestern Atlantic) and was affected by local environmental conditions. In addition, Symbiodiniaceae diversity was highest in a southwestern Atlantic oceanic island (Rocas Atoll). Understanding the relationship between corals and their algal symbionts is critical in determining the factors that control the ecological niches of zooxanthellate corals and their symbionts, and identifying host-symbiont pairs that may be more resistant to environmental changes.

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Publisher's official version 18 3 MB Open access
S1 File. Detailed description of the 12 collection sites of Favia gravida in the South Atlantic. 4 93 KB Open access
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