Isolation, characterisation and cross amplification of thirteen microsatellite loci for coral endo-symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium clade C)

  • Line Kolind BayEmail author
  • Emily J. Howells
  • Madeleine J. H. van Oppen
Technical Note


The health and productivity of coral reefs is underpinned by the symbiosis between corals and dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.). To enable population genetic analyses of Symbiodinium spp, required for coral reef conservation, seven microsatellite loci were isolated from Symbiodinium clade C from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. These microsatellite primer pairs consistently amplified between 1 and 8 alleles per coral host colony, with mean number of alleles ranging from 1.9 to 4.0 and generally high genetic diversities (Shannon’s Index = 0.71–2.76). The novel microsatellite loci amplified between 1 and 10 alleles in four other C strains, but did not amplify a D strain. Three of six previously published clade C microsatellite loci amplified 1–6 alleles in two or more of five C strains tested. The primers and cross amplifications presented here therefore provide a useful tool for elucidating the population genetic structure of clade C Symbiodinium populations.


Symbiodinium Coral endo-symbiont Microsatellite 



This work was supported by Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the Queensland Government. We thank the following for collection of coral samples: A. Lutz (coral sperm), R. Berkelmans (A. millepora samples), P. Warner (S. hystrix GBR samples), T. Cooper (S. hystrix WA samples). We also thank J. Doyle and A. Muirhead for assistance with DNA extractions and Symbiodinium strain determination. Samples collected to characterize microsatellites were collected under permit number G06/15571.1.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Line Kolind Bay
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Emily J. Howells
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Madeleine J. H. van Oppen
    • 2
  1. 1.ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef StudiesTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Marine Microbiology and GeneticsAustralian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsvilleAustralia
  3. 3.School of Marine and Tropical BiologyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  4. 4.AIMS@JCUJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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