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© Artur Scherf
Scanning Electron Microscopy of Red Blood Cell infected by Plasmodium falciparum.
Publication : eLife

Comparative genomics explains the evolutionary success of reef-forming corals

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in eLife - 24 May 2016

Bhattacharya D, Agrawal S, Aranda M, Baumgarten S, Belcaid M, Drake JL, Erwin D, Foret S, Gates RD, Gruber DF, Kamel B, Lesser MP, Levy O, Liew YJ, MacManes M, Mass T, Medina M, Mehr S, Meyer E, Price DC, Putnam HM, Qiu H, Shinzato C, Shoguchi E, Stokes AJ, Tambutté S, Tchernov D, Voolstra CR, Wagner N, Walker CW, Weber AP, Weis V, Zelzion E, Zoccola D, Falkowski PG

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27218454

Elife 2016 05;5

Transcriptome and genome data from twenty stony coral species and a selection of reference bilaterians were studied to elucidate coral evolutionary history. We identified genes that encode the proteins responsible for the precipitation and aggregation of the aragonite skeleton on which the organisms live, and revealed a network of environmental sensors that coordinate responses of the host animals to temperature, light, and pH. Furthermore, we describe a variety of stress-related pathways, including apoptotic pathways that allow the host animals to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that are generated by their intracellular photosynthetic symbionts, and determine the fate of corals under environmental stress. Some of these genes arose through horizontal gene transfer and comprise at least 0.2% of the animal gene inventory. Our analysis elucidates the evolutionary strategies that have allowed symbiotic corals to adapt and thrive for hundreds of millions of years.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27218454