Publications

Roth et al. 2015


scientific article | Mar Ecol Prog Ser

Fluorescent proteins in dominant mesophotic reef-building corals

Roth MS, Padilla-Gamiño JL, Pochon X, Bidigare RR, Gates RD, Smith AM, Spalding HL

Adobe pdf disabled addd0070fc849240f18943197db4226a4caf211ae987143710823268485043aa
Www fec836ca290318f37dc3ecd481f22b98faf488d5ddef687807ca6b76d8e893ed
Gscholar 58dd9f05df3b8d1811d087e8507325500777053d6677b471fd75373a30a4cee1
Abstract

Reef-building corals inhabiting the mesophotic zone (30−150 m) not only survive but thrive in light-limiting environments. Similar to shallow corals, mesophotic corals also exhibit coral fluorescence. Because fluorescent proteins (FPs) absorb high-energy light and emit lower-energy light, FPs could play an important role in mesophotic coral physiology and ecology. For 4 species of the Hawaiian mesophotic reef-building coral Leptoseris (65−125 m), we investigated the abundance of fluorescent morphs, types of FPs, fluorescence emission phenotypes, and the physiological relationship between coral fluorescence and endosymbiotic Symbiodinium (dinoflagellate; Dinophyta). Cyan/green coral fluorescence emission was widespread in mesophotic Leptoseris spp.; more than 70% of corals fluoresced, yet fluorescent and nonfluorescent corals co-occurred at all depths investigated. Coral fluorescence was attributed to 2 proteins, a cyan fluorescent protein (CFP, λex = 424 nm, λem = 490 nm) and a green fluorescent protein (GFP, λex = 478 nm, λem = 502 nm). The type of FP in Leptoseris colonies was correlated with depth; CFP was dominant in corals from shallower depths (65−85 m), GFP was dominant in corals from deeper depths (96−125 m), and CFP and GFP were present in corals from middle depths (86−95 m). Coral FP emission was primarily localized in the coenosarc and/or the oral disc. Symbiodinium from corals with and without fluorescence emission had similar genotypes, abundances, photosynthetic pigments, photosynthetic efficiencies, photosynthetic rates, and chlorophyll excitation spectra. As such, it is unlikely that these FPs play a significant role in enhancing symbiont photosynthesis. The high abundance of fluorescent morphs (>70%) dominating this energetically limited environment may suggest that FPs play an integral and conserved physiological role in corals.

Research sites

10.3354   meps11108
Keywords
Meta-data (pending validation)
Depth range
65- 125 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
95 x (total of 9574 words)

Fields
Physiology Molecular ecology Oceanography

Research focus
Scleractinia (Hard Corals) Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae)

Locations
USA - Hawaii

Research platforms
Manned Submersible
Author profiles
Xavier Pochon ( 4 pubs)
Melissa Roth ( 1 pubs)
Heather Spalding ( 11 pubs)