Genetic Diversity and Stability of Coral - Algal Symbiosis.
Final rept. 1 Aug 94-31 Jul 95,
SMITHSONIAN TROPICAL RESEARCH INST APO AA 34002-0948
Pagination or Media Count:
To characterize ecological differences between different genotypes of symbiotic algae in the corals Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata, and to assess their stability in the face of environmental change. Pieces of the coral were collected from reefs in the San Blas archipelago, Panama. Our work involved sampling of Montastraea annularis and M. faveoiata across a variety of depths For each colony, two pairs of microhabitats were compared top vs. side of column or peak, and top vs. base of colony. Zooxanthellae-enriched samples were prepared from the coral tissues. Then small-subunit rDNA was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, and the resulting products digested with several restriction enzymes. Bands on these gels were then scored for the abundance of three major genotypes, which differ in RFLP pattern. These samples were analyzed initially for differences in distribution of the different genotypes, and subsequently compared to samples taken at adjacent sites following a coral bleaching episode associated with elevated water temperatures.