Specificity in communities of Symbiodinium in corals from Johnston Atoll

Michael Stat*, Xavier Pochon, Rebecca O.M. Cowie, Ruth D. Gates

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The diversity of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) in corals at Johnston Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean was assessed using both the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of the nuclear rDNA and chloroplast 23S rDNA. More sequences were recovered from corals using the ITS2 primers than with the chloroplast 23S primers, a finding that reflects both the higher taxonomic resolution and level of intragenomic variation in ITS2 in eukaryotes as compared to chloroplast 23S. Parsimony network analysis, Bray-Curtis coefficient of similarity and 1-way analysis of similarity resolved coral species- and/or genus-specific lineages and/or groupings of Symbiodinium that were generally congruent between the 2 genetic markers. Comparison of coral-Symbiodinium assemblages at Johnston Atoll with those in corals sampled on other reefs in the Pacific reveals differences that include novel host-symbiont unions and a Symbiodinium lineage previously reported to be Caribbean-specific in Acropora from Johnston Atoll.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Symbiodinium
  • coral
  • dinoflagellate
  • Symbiosis
  • ITS2
  • chloroplast


Dive into the research topics of 'Specificity in communities of Symbiodinium in corals from Johnston Atoll'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this