Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A coral symbiont genome decoded for first time

Date:
July 12, 2013
Source:
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - OIST
Summary:
Scientists have decoded the genome of the algae Symbiodinium minutum. This is a major advance in understanding the complex ecology of coral reefs.

The Marine Genomics Unit of Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University (OIST) has decoded the genome of the algae Symbiodinium minutum. The paper will be published in the online version of Current Biology on July 11. This is a major advance in understanding the complex ecology of coral reefs.

Coral reefs have enormous ecological and economic importance but the keystone organisms in their establishment, the hard corals, increasingly face a range of challenges including ocean acidification and seawater temperature rise. These corals exist in a symbiotic relationship with algae known as Symbiodinium. Neither organism can survive without the healthy presence of the other. Symbiodinium receives CO2 and a stable, safe living environment from the coral host, while the coral benefits from oxygen and nutrients produced from the symbiont. To gain a precise understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying coral biology, genomic information on both the coral host and algae symbiont is essential.

In 2011, the Marine Genomics Unit decoded the approximately 420-megabase genome of the coral Acropora digitifera for the first time.

One key finding was that, unlike several other corals, Acropora seems to lack an enzyme essential for cysteine biosynthesis, implying dependency of this coral on its symbionts, including symbiodinium, for this amino acid.

The algae that live in symbiosis with coral have extremely large nuclear genomes ranging from 1,500 to 24,500 megabases. The OIST team selected Symbiodinium minutum as a target on account of its reasonably sized genome size of 1,500 megabases. This is about half the size of the human genome. Using the powerful next-generation sequencing capability at OIST, the team, in collaboration with researchers in Japan and America, were able to decode the genome for the first time and discovered that the algae genome exhibits unique and divergent characteristics when compared to those of other multicellular organisms.

The OIST group has now succeeded in establishing for the first time the genomic information of both the coral host and the symbiont. This information will greatly facilitate research on coral biology. For example, it will be possible to investigate whether corals or symbionts, respond first to environmental changes such as seawater temperature rise. Similarly, researchers can examine if corals respond to different stresses via a similar molecular mechanism or different mechanisms. These areas of research are greatly facilitated by both genomes being decoded in the same laboratory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - OIST. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eiichi Shoguchi, Chuya Shinzato, Takeshi Kawashima, Fuki Gyoja, Sutada Mungpakdee, Ryo Koyanagi, Takeshi Takeuchi, Kanako Hisata, Makiko Tanaka, Mayuki Fujiwara, Mayuko Hamada, Azadeh Seidi, Manabu Fujie, Takeshi Usami, Hiroki Goto, Shinichi Yamasaki, Nana Arakaki, Yutaka Suzuki, Sumio Sugano, Atsushi Toyoda, Yoko Kuroki, Asao Fujiyama, Mσnica Medina, Mary Alice Coffroth, Debashish Bhattacharya, Nori Satoh. Draft Assembly of the Symbiodinium minutum Nuclear Genome Reveals Dinoflagellate Gene Structure. Current Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.05.062

Cite This Page:

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - OIST. "A coral symbiont genome decoded for first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130712084329.htm>.
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - OIST. (2013, July 12). A coral symbiont genome decoded for first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130712084329.htm
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - OIST. "A coral symbiont genome decoded for first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130712084329.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) — Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins