Differential gene expression in Symbiodinium microadriaticum clade B following stress

S. Karako-Lampert, G. Hershkovits, N. Stambler, N. Simon-Blecher, Y. Achituv, Z. Dubinsky, D. J. Katcoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Coral bleaching is caused by the loss of symbiont zooxanthellae and/or decrease in their pigments. Since the algal symbionts provide the energy basis for corals and whole reefs, their loss or impairment of function leads to widespread mortality. This phenomenon has been documented numerous times in recent years, and has extensively damaged coral reefs all over the world. Temperature has been found to be the major cause of bleaching, and rising sea temperatures have increased the frequency of these catastrophic episodes. To characterize the response of zooxanthellae to temperature stress at the molecular level, we used the mRNA differential display technique to monitor changes in the abundance of specific mRNA species in the cell under different temperature conditions. Axenically grown zooxanthellae were exposed to a range of temperatures (21.7, 17, 26°C) before extraction of their mRNA. Of numerous differentially expressed sequences, seven mRNA species were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. One of those sequences was positively identified as encoding a multifunction cell surface aminopeptidase, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, which is active in cell matrix adhesion. Our work illustrates the power of the differential display technique as a useful tool to study the response of zooxanthellae to stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-274
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Clade
  • Gene expression
  • Stress
  • Temperature
  • Zooxanthellae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science


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