Early cellular changes are indicators of pre-bleaching thermal stress in the coral host

Ainsworth, T. D., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Heron, S. F., Skirving, W. J. and Leggat, W. (2008) Early cellular changes are indicators of pre-bleaching thermal stress in the coral host. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 364 2: 63-71. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2008.06.032

Author Ainsworth, T. D.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
Heron, S. F.
Skirving, W. J.
Leggat, W.
Title Early cellular changes are indicators of pre-bleaching thermal stress in the coral host
Journal name Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0981
Publication date 2008-10-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jembe.2008.06.032
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 364
Issue 2
Start page 63
End page 71
Total pages 9
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Subject C1
969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related)
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Abstract Thermal stress causes the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis to disassociate and the coral tissues to whiten. The onset and occurrence of this coral bleaching is primarily defined via the dinoflagellate responses. Here we demonstrate that thermal stress responses occur in the coral host tissues in the days before the onset of coral bleaching. The observed sequence of thermal responses includes reductions in thickness of coral tissue layers and apoptosis of the cells prior to reductions in symbiont density. In the days before the onset of coral bleaching the outer coral tissue layer (epithelium) thickness reduces and apoptosis occurs within the gastrodermis. Two days following this, coinciding with an initial reduction of symbiont density (by approximately 25%), gastrodermal thickness decreased and apoptosis of host cells was identified in the epithelium. This was eventually followed by large reduction in symbiont density (by approximately 50%) consistent with coral bleaching. Both pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes are identified in the reef building coral Acropora aspera, demonstrating the necessary pathways are present for fine control of host apoptosis. Our study shows that defining periods of host stress based on the responses defined by dinoflagellate symbiont underestimates the importance of early cellular events and the cellular complexity of coral host. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 61 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 58 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 11 Apr 2009, 22:25:28 EST by Peter Fogarty on behalf of Centre for Marine Studies