Journal article

Quantification of algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium) in coral tissue using real-time PCR

JC Mieog, MJH Van Oppen, R Berkelmans, WT Stam, JL Olsen

Molecular Ecology Resources | WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC | Published : 2009


Understanding the flexibility of the endosymbioses between scleractinian corals and single-cell algae of the genus Symbiodinium will provide valuable insights into the future of coral reefs. Here, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay is presented to accurately determine the cell densities of Symbiodinium clades C and D in the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora, which can be extended to other coral-symbiont associations in the future. The assay targets single- to low-copy genes of the actin family of both the coral host and algal symbiont. Symbiont densities are expressed as the ratio of Symbiodinium cells to each host cell (S/H ratio, error within 30%), but can also be norma..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by NWO-WOTRO (the Netherlands)

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank J.A. Kaandorp for his help with the shipping of the DNA samples. This work was funded by NWO-WOTRO (the Netherlands), Project no. W84-576, and further supported by the Australian Institute of Marine Science.