Molecular identification of symbiotic dinoflagellates in Pacific corals in the genus Pocillopora
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This study focused on the association between corals of the genus Pocillopora, a major constituent of Pacific reefs, and their zooxanthellae. Samples of P. meandrina, P. verrucosa, P. damicornis, P. eydouxi, P. ligulata and P. molokensis were collected from French Polynesia, Tonga, Okinawa and Hawaii. Symbiodinium diversity was explored by looking at the 28S and ITS1 regions of the ribosomal DNA. Most zooxanthellae were found to belong to clade C, sub-clade C1, with little differentiation between populations. Interestingly, individuals of P. damicornis harbored sub-clade C1, clade D and clade A, depending on location. The symbiotic association of P. damicornis with its zooxanthellae may be somewhat more flexible than those of other Pocillopora species.
KeywordsSymbiodinium Zooxanthellae Pocillopora Coral Clade ITS
We thank Scott R. Santos for helpful advice, valuable comments and corrections. H. Magalon received a Docteur-Ingénieur fellowship from the CNRS.
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