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Heat-Stress and Light-Stress Induce Different Cellular Pathologies in the Symbiotic Dinoflagellate during Coral Bleaching

Author(s): Downs, C.A.; K.E. McDougall; C.M. Woodley; J.E. Fauth; R.H. Richmond; A. Kushmaro; S.W. Gibb; Y. Loya; G.K. Ostrander; E. Kramarsky-Winter

NCCOS Center: CCEHBR (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/about/centers/ccehbr)

Publication Type: Journal Article

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

Date of Publication: 2013

Reference Information: 8(12): e77173, 16 pages

Keywords: coral; coral bleaching; heat stress; light stress; cellular pathologies; symbiotic dinoflagellates; zooxanthellae

Abstract: Coral bleaching is a key cause of coral reef degradation worldwide and is indicative of the termination of symbiosis between the coral host and its symbiotic algae (dinoflagellates; Symbiodinium sp. complex). Bleaching results in an uncoupling of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis and can occur via dinoflagellates expulsion or by their “digestion” through the xenophagic (symbiophagic) pathway. The uncoupling of this symbiosis occurs at least in part as a result of pathomorphological changes occurring in the symbiont.