Symbiodinium genomes reveal adaptive evolution of functions related to coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis

H. Liu, T.G. Stephens, R.A. González-Pech, V.H. Beltran, B. Lapeyre, P. Bongaerts, I. Cooke, M. Aranda, D.G. Bourne, S. Forêt, D.J. Miller, Madeleine J.H. van Oppen, C.R. Voolstra, M.A. Ragan, C. Xin Chan
Communications Biology, volume 1, Article number: 95, (2018)

Symbiodinium genomes reveal adaptive evolution of functions related to coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis

Keywords

Symbiodinium, Genome, Symbiosis, Coral reefs

Abstract

​Symbiosis between dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium and reef-building corals forms the trophic foundation of the world’s coral reef ecosystems. Here we present the first draft genome of Symbiodinium goreaui (Clade C, type C1: 1.03 Gbp), one of the most ubiquitous endosymbionts associated with corals, and an improved draft genome of Symbiodinium kawagutii (Clade F, strain CS-156: 1.05 Gbp) to further elucidate genomic signatures of this symbiosis. Comparative analysis of four available Symbiodinium genomes against other dinoflagellate genomes led to the identification of 2460 nuclear gene families (containing 5% of Symbiodinium genes) that show evidence of positive selection, including genes involved in photosynthesis, transmembrane ion transport, synthesis and modification of amino acids and glycoproteins, and stress response. Further, we identify extensive sets of genes for meiosis and response to light stress. These draft genomes provide a foundational resource for advancing our understanding of Symbiodinium biology and the coral-algal symbiosis.

Code

DOI: 10.1038/s42003-018-0098-3

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