Together stronger: Intracolonial genetic variability occurrence in Pocillopora corals suggests potential benefits

Type Article
Date 2020-06
Language English
Author(s) Oury Nicolas1, Gelin Pauline1, Magalon HeleneORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ La Reunion, UMR ENTROPIE, IRD, CNRS, St Denis, La Reunion, France.
Source Ecology And Evolution (2045-7758) (Wiley), 2020-06 , Vol. 10 , N. 12 , P. 5208-5218
DOI 10.1002/ece3.5807
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) chimerism, intracolonial genetic variability, microsatellite, mosaicism, Pocillopora, scleractinian
Abstract We investigated the occurrence of intracolonial genetic variability (IGV) in Pocillopora corals in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Ninety-six colonies were threefold-sampled from three sites in Reunion Island. Nubbins were genotyped using 13 microsatellite loci, and their multilocus genotypes compared. Over 50% of the colonies presented at least two different genotypes among their three nubbins, and IGV was found abundant in all sites (from 36.7% to 58.1%). To define the threshold distinguishing mosaicism from chimerism, we developed a new method based on different evolution models by computing the number of different alleles for the infinite allele model (IAM) and the Bruvo's distance for the stepwise mutation model (SMM). Colonies were considered as chimeras if their nubbins differed from more than four alleles and if the pairwise Bruvo's distance was higher than 0.12. Thus 80% of the IGV colonies were mosaics and 20% chimeras (representing almost 10% of the total sampling). IGV seems widespread in scleractinians and beyond the disabilities of this phenomenon reported in several studies, it should also bring benefits. Next steps are to identify these benefits and to understand processes leading to IGV, as well as factors influencing them.
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