Molecular Genetics of the Coral Holobiont
Wham, Francis Condon, Jr.
The symbiotic union between a community of prokaryotes, and photosynthetic dinoflagellates with a multicellular anthozoan host is known as the coral holobiont. The reciprocal exchange of nutrients between the members of the holobiont allows for efficient nutrient recycling. This relationship contributes to the success of corals in a naturally oligotrophic and variable environment. Investigations of how environmental change affects the various members of the holobiont are important in forecasting how climate change and growing human populations may impact these partnerships. Here I present three studies examining the impact of various environmental perturbations on members of the coral holobiont. The fine-scale genetic resolution offered by the molecular techniques used in these studies provides insights on how the identity, diversity and ecology of the members of the coral holobiont change in response to environmental perturbation.
Coral reef ecology