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Coral larvae suppress heat stress response during the onset of symbiosis decreasing their odds of survival

Kitchen, Sheila A. and Jiang, Duo and Harii, Saki and Satoh, Noriyuki and Weis, Virginia M. and Shinzato, Chuya (2022) Coral larvae suppress heat stress response during the onset of symbiosis decreasing their odds of survival. Molecular Ecology, 31 (22). pp. 5813-5830. ISSN 0962-1083. doi:10.1111/mec.16708.

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The endosymbiosis between most corals and their photosynthetic dinoflagellate partners begins early in the host life history, when corals are larvae or juvenile polyps. The capacity of coral larvae to buffer climate-induced stress while in the process of symbiont acquisition could come with physiological trade-offs that alter behaviour, development, settlement and survivorship. Here we examined the joint effects of thermal stress and symbiosis onset on colonization dynamics, survival, metamorphosis and host gene expression of Acropora digitifera larvae. We found that thermal stress decreased symbiont colonization of hosts by 50% and symbiont density by 98.5% over 2 weeks. Temperature and colonization also influenced larval survival and metamorphosis in an additive manner, where colonized larvae fared worse or prematurely metamorphosed more often than noncolonized larvae under thermal stress. Transcriptomic responses to colonization and thermal stress treatments were largely independent, while the interaction of these treatments revealed contrasting expression profiles of genes that function in the stress response, immunity, inflammation and cell cycle regulation. The combined treatment either cancelled or lowered the magnitude of expression of heat-stress responsive genes in the presence of symbionts, revealing a physiological cost to acquiring symbionts at the larval stage with elevated temperatures. In addition, host immune suppression, a hallmark of symbiosis onset under ambient temperature, turned to immune activation under heat stress. Thus, by integrating the physical environment and biotic pressures that mediate presettlement event in corals, our results suggest that colonization may hinder larval survival and recruitment under projected climate scenarios.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kitchen, Sheila A.0000-0003-4402-8139
Jiang, Duo0000-0002-7103-4502
Harii, Saki0000-0003-0440-7169
Satoh, Noriyuki0000-0002-4480-3572
Weis, Virginia M.0000-0002-1826-2848
Shinzato, Chuya0000-0001-7843-3381
Additional Information:We would like to thank the students and support staff at Tropical Biosphere Research Center of University of Ryukyus and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University for assistance in coral collection and larval rearing. We thank Dr. Eiichi Shoguchi for providing symbiont cultures and Maria Khalturina for assistance with RNAseq library preparation. This study was supported by funding provided by NSF EAPSI OISE-1311087, JSPS-SP-13027, PADI Foundation Grant 11199, Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research and Integrative Biology Department at Oregon State University to SAK. Corals were sampled under the Okinawa Prefecture permit No. 25-67.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)SP-13027
PADI Foundation11199
Issue or Number:22
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221025-983475200.2
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:117573
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:01 Nov 2022 23:49
Last Modified:08 Nov 2022 00:26

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