Heritability of heat tolerance of corals on the Great Barrier Reef (MTSRF Project 2.5i.2)

Using a quantitative genetics approach, the proportion of the variance in thermal tolerance traits that has a genetic basis (i.e. heritability) was estimated as a proxy for their adaptive potential in the widespread Indo-Pacific reef-building coral Acropora millepora. Two physiologically different populations that associate respectively with one thermotolerant (Symbiodinium clade D) and one less tolerant symbiont type (Symbiodinium C2) were chosen. Pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to assess photosynthesis and photoprotective pigment profile. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays were used to assass changes in expression of fundamental stress genes.

To estimate the potential of corals to adapt to rising seawater temperatures.

Site locations: Nelly Bay (Magnetic Island), Orpheus Island Related AIMS Publications Csaszar N, Seneca F and van Oppen MJH (2009) Variation in antioxidant gene expression in the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora under laboratory thermal stress. Marine Ecology Progress Series 392: 93-102. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=8293 Csaszar N, Ralph PJ, Frankham R, Berkelmans RWC and van Oppen MJH (2010) Estimating the Potential for Adaptation of Corals to Climate Warming. PLoS ONE 5: e9751. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=8462

Principal Investigator
van Oppen, Madeleine JH, Dr Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Point Of Contact
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) adc@aims.gov.au

Data collected from 01 Mar 2008 until 31 Mar 2010

Publications / Data
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Tags: Biological Classification - Animals/Invertebrates - Cnidarians , Anthozoans/Hexacorals , Hard Or Stony Corals | Biological Classification - Protists - Flagellates , Dinoflagellates | Biosphere - Ecological Dynamics - Species/Population Interactions , Symbiosis | Oceans - Ocean Temperature - Sea Surface Temperature | Zooxanthellae | Algal endosymbionts | Acropora millepora | Symbiodinium | Climate Change | Adaptation | Gene expression