Coral Reefs

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 482–487 | Cite as

Geographic distribution of zooxanthella types in three coral species on the Great Barrier Reef sampled after the 2002 bleaching event

  • Madeleine J. H. van. OppenEmail author
  • Azita J Mahiny
  • Terry J Done


Reef corals form obligate symbiotic relationships with many genetically divergent taxa of zooxanthellae (dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium) (reviewed in Baker 2003). Based on nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and later confirmed by partial chloroplast large subunit rDNA sequences (Santos et al. 2002), eight distinct phylogenetic clades of zooxanthellae have been distinguished (A-H; LaJeunesse 2001; Rodriguez-Lanetty 2003; Pochon et al. 2004), five of which (A-D, F) are known to form associations with scleractinian corals. This high taxon diversity is accompanied by differences in physiological traits between some zooxanthella types (Kinzie et al. 2001; Bhagooli et al. 2003; Little et al. 2004), with Symbiodinium clade D being the most heat-tolerant type known today (Glynn et al. 2001; Baker et al. 2004; Fabricius et al. 2004; Rowan 2004). Physiological differences among zooxanthella types has led to the expectation that zooxanthella types may affect their hosts’...


Great Barrier Reef Single Stranded Conformation Polymorphism Bleaching Event Coral Host Coral Colony 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Ray Berkelmans, Chico Birrell, Stuart Kininmonth, Adam Pharoah, and Mary Wakeford for their help in collecting the coral samples. We thank The Nature Conservancy for their support of this project.

Supplementary material

338_2005_487_MOESM1_ESM.doc (118 kb)
doc 121 KB


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madeleine J. H. van. Oppen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Azita J Mahiny
    • 1
  • Terry J Done
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsville MCAustralia

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