Dataset Information


Intraspecific diversity among partners drives functional variation in coral symbioses

ABSTRACT: Coral reefs are declining globally. Temperature anomalies disrupt coral-algal symbioses at the molecular level, causing bleaching and mortality events. In terrestrial mutualisms, diversity in pairings of host and symbiont individuals (genotypes) results in ecologically and evolutionarily relevant stress response differences. The extent to which such intraspecific diversity provides functional variation in coral-algal systems is unknown. Here we assessed functional diversity among unique pairings of coral and algal individuals (holobionts). We targeted six genetically distinct Acropora palmata coral colonies that all associated with a single, clonal Symbiodinium ‘fitti’ strain in a natural common garden. No other species of algae or other strains of S. ‘fitti’ could be detected in host tissues. When colony branches were experimentally exposed to cold stress, host genotype influenced the photochemical efficiency of the symbiont strain, buffering the stress response to varying degrees. Gene expression differences among host individuals with buffered vs. non-buffered symbiont responses included biochemical pathways that mediate iron availability and oxygen stress signaling—critical components of molecular interactions with photosynthetic symbionts. Spawning patterns among hosts reflected symbiont performance differences under stress. These data are some of the first to indicate that genetic interactions below the species level affect coral holobiont performance. Intraspecific diversity serves as an important but overlooked source of physiological variation in this system, contributing raw material available to natural selection. Note: in the final publication, only ambient and cold treatments are discussed, but there was an additional hot treatment for each genotype at 34C. Most colonies expired after 6 hours, so PAM data could not be collected. The microarray data from 3.5 hours are included here. Overall design: Hybridization followed a dual channel loop design using two biological replicates from each treatment that maximized power to detect differential expression in contrasts between regulationphenotype and temperature as well as the amount of data obtained from each slide (Simon and Dobbin 2003). A total of 12 arrays on one 12 plex slide were used. Each array measures the expression level of 135,185 genes from the elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) transcriptome (Polato et al. 2011). Two 60-mer probes were designed for each contig (n = 85,260), and a single probe was designed for each singleton sequence (n = 45,390). Two additional probes each were developed for sequences associated with annotation information relating to calcium metabolism and stress response (n = 4,798). Replicate probes for individual sequences from the assembled transcriptome were not identical; rather they represented multiple different 60-mer sequences from the original template.

INSTRUMENT(S): NimbleGen A.palmata 135K array v1.0

SUBMITTER: John Everett Parkinson  

PROVIDER: GSE50926 | GEO | 2015-10-01



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Intraspecific diversity among partners drives functional variation in coral symbioses.

Parkinson John Everett JE   Banaszak Anastazia T AT   Altman Naomi S NS   LaJeunesse Todd C TC   Baums Iliana B IB  

Scientific reports 20151026

The capacity of coral-dinoflagellate mutualisms to adapt to a changing climate relies in part on standing variation in host and symbiont populations, but rarely have the interactions between symbiotic partners been considered at the level of individuals. Here, we tested the importance of inter-individual variation with respect to the physiology of coral holobionts. We identified six genetically distinct Acropora palmata coral colonies that all shared the same isoclonal Symbiodinium 'fitti' dinof  ...[more]

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