A Caltech Library Service

Morphotype is not linked to mitochondrial haplogroups of Caribbean acroporid hybrids

Kitchen, Sheila A. and Osborne, C. Cornelia and Fogarty, Nicole D. and Baums, Iliana B. (2022) Morphotype is not linked to mitochondrial haplogroups of Caribbean acroporid hybrids. Coral Reefs, 41 (3). pp. 829-836. ISSN 0722-4028. doi:10.1007/s00338-021-02135-5.

[img] MS Word - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

[img] MS Excel - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The Caribbean Acropora corals, A. palmata and A. cervicornis form a hybrid with two broad morphotypes, bushy and palmate. These morphotypes were previously hypothesized to be linked to the hybrid’s maternal species. Here, we expand on this hypothesis by adding samples from across the range and by increasing genetic resolution. We reconstructed complete mitochondrial genomes as a proxy for maternal species. This yielded novel A. palmata haplogroups, only one of which was shared by all three taxa. Experts then evaluated photographs to classify corals to a taxon based on colony morphology. Expert classification revealed less accuracy and confidence in hybrid, and surprisingly A. palmata identification compared to A. cervicornis. No association between the bushy morph and mitochondrial haplogroups was found when mapping hybrid morphotypes to the mitogenome phylogeny. Therefore, mitochondrial haplogroup membership is not predictive of Caribbean acroporid hybrid morphology across the range. Additional work is needed to uncover determinants of colony morphology.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Kitchen, Sheila A.0000-0003-4402-8139
Osborne, C. Cornelia0000-0001-6759-4542
Fogarty, Nicole D.0000-0003-3811-3791
Baums, Iliana B.0000-0001-6463-7308
Additional Information:© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021. Received 24 November 2020; Accepted 10 June 2021; Published 25 June 2021. Funding for this project was supported by NSF OCE-1537959 awarded to IBB and NSF OCE-1538469/1929979 awarded to NDF. We thank Hunter Noren, Megan Bock, Leah Harper and Morgan Hightshoe for their assistance in-field photography of the Belize, Curacao and USVI samples. We thank Tyler Smith and Marilyn Brandt for facilitating field work in the USVI and Mark Vermeij for facilitating field work in Curacao. We also thank the participants listed in Table S5 for taking time to complete the survey. Samples from Belize are part of the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems (CCRE) Program, Smithsonian Institution contribution #1046. Permits for samples include Florida: CRF permit numbers CRF-2017-009, CRF-2017-012, NOAA FKNMS permit numbers FKNMS-2011-159-A4, FKNMS-2001-009, FKNMS-2014-148-A2 and FKNMS-2010-130-A, Belize: CITES Permit 0385, 7487 and 7488; Curacao: CITES Permit 16US784243/9 and 12US784243/9; and USVI Department of planning and natural resources, Division of fish and wildlife DFW14017T. On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Mitochondrial genomes; Morphology; Field identification; Acroporids
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210701-145922783
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Kitchen, S.A., Osborne, C.C., Fogarty, N.D. et al. Morphotype is not linked to mitochondrial haplogroups of Caribbean acroporid hybrids. Coral Reefs 41, 829–836 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109692
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Jul 2021 22:19
Last Modified:30 Jun 2022 22:27

Repository Staff Only: item control page