Symbiotic relationship between corals and zooxanthellae structure

The Symbiotic Relationship between Zooxanthellae and Coral by Brianna Velasquez on Prezi

symbiotic relationship between corals and zooxanthellae structure

symbioses form the basis of the highly productive coral relationships with the zooxanthellae (genus Symbiodinium) suggests the highly valuable competitive Symbiodinium (represented as green structures in oral endoderm) are found in. The symbiotic relationship between zooxanthellae and marine coral is . Minutum Nuclear Genome Reveals Dinoflagellate Gene Structure. Mutualistic Relationship with Coral Reefs Zooxanthellae is the name given to a wide array of different algae of the While the majority of the dinophyta genome is non-coding, it is thought to have a structural function.

Symbiodinium convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into organic carbon and oxygen to fuel coral growth and calcification, creating habitat for these diverse and productive ecosystems.

Light is thus a key regulating factor shaping the productivity, physiology, and ecology of the coral holobiont. Similar to all oxygenic photoautotrophs, Symbiodinium must safely harvest sunlight for photosynthesis and dissipate excess energy to prevent oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is caused by environmental stressors such as those associated with global climate change, and ultimately leads to breakdown of the coral—algal symbiosis known as coral bleaching.

Recently, large-scale coral bleaching events have become pervasive and frequent threatening and endangering coral reefs. Because the coral—algal symbiosis is the biological engine producing the reef, the future of coral reef ecosystems depends on the ecophysiology of the symbiosis. This review examines the photobiology of the coral—algal symbiosis with particular focus on the photophysiological responses and timescales of corals and Symbiodinium.

Additionally, this review summarizes the light environment and its dynamics, the vulnerability of the symbiosis to oxidative stress, the abiotic and biotic factors influencing photosynthesis, the diversity of the coral—algal symbiosis, and recent advances in the field. Greater physiological and ecological understanding of the coral—algal symbiosis is needed for protection and conservation of coral reefs.

Zooxanthellae and their Symbiotic Relationship with Marine Corals

Despite their immense biological, economical, and societal significance, corals reefs are declining worldwide due to a myriad of threats on multiple scales. Synergies of global stressors e.

The Coral and the Algae

Because coral reefs are at risk of global decline and corals are the keystone species of the ecosystem, it is critical to understand the dynamics of coral biology that govern responses and tolerances to environmental variability and change.

This calcium carbonate bioconstruction, so extensive it is visible from outer space, is powered by the coral—algal symbiosis. Comparably, the entire human genome is closer to the 3, Mbp mark. While the majority of the dinophyta genome is non-coding, it is thought to have a structural function. With higher competition, predation, and variable nutrient availability, the zooxanthellae do not fair well in open waters.

Instead, a large majority of zooxanthellae form symbiotic relationships and live within host organisms [3]. Typically, the host organism captures the algae but does not digest.

The algae makes it to the epithelial layer of the organism where it can make the most of the light availability.

symbiotic relationship between corals and zooxanthellae structure

The relationship between zooxanthellae and corals is thought to have evolved from a single adaptive radiation event, however the different species or clades of symbionts that live together in the same coral as well as at different depths and light intensities complicates the simple idea of co-evolution with their host. Mutualistic Relationship with Coral Reefs Corals provide a safe environment for the zooxanthellae to photosynthesize.

Zooxanthellae - coraldigest

Since the algae are within the polyp, any action to reduce predation upon the coral will also benefit the symbiont. Corals gain nutrients and materials through feeding, providing the algae with the nutrients needed for photosynthesis. In return, the zooxanthellae provide nutrients, such as glucose, glycerol, and amino acids, for the coral to use in order to grow and create a calcium carbonate skeleton.

symbiotic relationship between corals and zooxanthellae structure

Up to ninety percent of the photosynthetic products produced by zooxanthellae is transferred to the corals, driving their growth. Oxygen, another byproduct of photosynthesis, can be used by coral polyps with waste removal. Zooxanthellae are also known to aid in CaCO3 formation. The ability to rapidly create these calcified skeletons and the metabolic advantages from the photosynthesis allow zooxanthellae scleractinian corals to grow quickly and construct dominant reefs in tropic waters.

It is believed that lateral gene transfer has occurred between the two organisms. This relationship is the reason for the variation in color patterns among corals.