Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Nature

Publication Date

10-28-2013

Abstract

Globally, reef-building corals are the most prolific producers of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP), a central molecule in the marine sulphur cycle and precursor of the climate-active gas dimethylsulphide. At present, DMSP production by corals is attributed entirely to their algal endosymbiont, Symbiodinium. Combining chemical, genomic and molecular approaches, we show that coral juveniles produce DMSP in the absence of algal symbionts. DMSP levels increased up to 54% over time in newly settled coral juveniles lacking algal endosymbionts, and further increases, up to 76%, were recorded when juveniles were subjected to thermal stress. We uncovered coral orthologues of two algal genes recently identified in DMSP biosynthesis, strongly indicating that corals possess the enzymatic machinery necessary for DMSP production. Our results overturn the paradigm that photosynthetic organisms are the sole biological source of DMSP, and highlight the double jeopardy represented by worldwide declining coral cover, as the potential to alleviate thermal stress through coral-produced DMSP declines correspondingly. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

ISSN

0028-0836

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Volume

502

Issue

7473

First Page

677

Last Page

680

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Keywords

propionic acid derivative; alga; animal; coral reef; dimethylsulfoniopropionate; genomics; host-symbiont interaction; juvenile; molecular analysis; photosynthesis; physiological response; sulfur cycle; temperature effect; article; biosynthesis; coral; endosymbiont; genomics; machine; nuclear magnetic resonance imaging; photosynthesis; priority journal; Symbiodinium; temperature stress; transmission electron microscopy; Acrylates; Algal Proteins; Animals; Anthozoa; Climate Change; Photosynthesis; Secondary Metabolism; Stress, Physiological; Sulfonium Compounds; Symbiosis; Temperature; Time Factors; algae; Animalia; Anthozoa; Symbiodinium

Scopus ID

84886950916

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

yes

Open Access Type

Green: A manuscript of this publication is openly available in a repository

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

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