Observations of Simultaneous Sperm Release and Larval Planulation Suggest Reproductive Assurance in the Coral Pocillopora acuta
Hillary A Smith, Aurelie Moya, Neal E Cantin, Madeleine JH van Oppen, Gergely Torda
FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE | FRONTIERS MEDIA SA | Published : 2019
Despite being an extensively studied group of corals, the reproductive biology of the scleractinian genus Pocillopora remains a mystery. Pocillopora acuta has been proposed to exhibit a mixed reproductive mode, sexually producing gametes (sperm and eggs) and asexually brooding larvae simultaneously within a single colony. Here, we report observations of night-time spawning of sperm during the peak monthly larval release period. We offer a new hypothesis for the regulation of sexual and asexual reproduction in the species and posit that sexual reproduction may occur more often than previously suggested. However, the success of internal oocyte fertilization and subsequent zygote development is..View full abstract
Awarded by Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship
This work was supported by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and was utilized for coral collections and aquarium setup. MvO acknowledges the Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship FL180100036.