TitleCoral larvae exhibit few measurable transcriptional changes during the onset of coral-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSchnitzler, CE, Weis, VM
JournalMarine Genomics
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The cellular mechanisms controlling the successful establishment of a stable mutualism between cnidarians and their dinoflagellate partners are largely unknown. The planula larva of the solitary Hawaiian scleractinian coral Fungi scutaria and its dinoflagellate symbiont Symbiodinium sp. type Cl f represents an ideal model for studying the onset of cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis due to the predictable availability of gametes, the ability to raise non-symbiotic larvae and establish the symbiosis experimentally, and the ability to precisely quantify infection success. The goal of this study was to identify genes differentially expressed in F scutaria larvae during the initiation of endosymbiosis with Symbiodinium sp. Cl f. Newly symbiotic larvae were compared to non-symbiotic larvae using a custom cDNA microarray. The 5184-feature array was constructed with cDNA libraries from newly symbiotic and non-symbiotic F. scutaria larvae, including 3072 features (60%) that were enriched for either state by subtractive hybridization. Our analyses revealed very few changes in the F scutaria transcriptome as a result of infection with Symbiodinium sp. Cif, similar to other studies focused on the early stages of this symbiotic interaction. We suggest that these results may be due, in part, to an inability to detect the transcriptional signal from the small percentage of infected cells compared to uninfected cells. We discuss several other potential explanations for this result, including suggesting that certain types of Symbiodinium sp. may have evolved mechanisms to suppress or circumvent cnidarian host responses to infection. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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