An Indo-West Pacific ‘zooxanthella’ invasive to the western Atlantic finds its way to the Eastern Pacific via an introduced Caribbean coral

Todd C. LaJeunesse, Zac H. Forsman, Drew C. Wham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Phylogenetic evidence indicates that Siderastrea glynni, a species of coral thought to be endemic to the Eastern Pacific, is actually more likely to be Si. siderea introduced from the Atlantic. Our analyses of the endosymbionts of Si. glynni (Symbiodinium) substantiate this as an introduced species; attempts to conserve and list Si. glynni as an endangered species are probably unwarranted. The specimens we examined harbored Symbiodinium trenchii and some also contained Sy. goreaui, symbionts that occur with Si. siderea in the Atlantic. Moreover, the genotype of Sy. trenchii (a single strain defined by ten diallelic microsatellite loci) was genetically distinct from genotypes of Sy. ‘glynni,’ also in Clade D, found abundantly in colonies of Pocillopora throughout the region. Furthermore, the strain of Sy. trenchii grouped with genotypes from the Greater Caribbean, an inbred population that was recently introduced from the Indo-West Pacific. This secondary introduction suggests that strains of Caribbean Sy. trenchii are capable of dispersal into new reef coral communities where this symbiont does not presently exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-582
Number of pages6
JournalCoral Reefs
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science

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