Phylogenetic evidence indicates that Siderastrea glynni, a species of coral thought to be endemic to the Eastern Pacific, is actually more likely to be Si. siderea introduced from the Atlantic. Our analyses of the endosymbionts of Si. glynni (Symbiodinium) substantiate this as an introduced species; attempts to conserve and list Si. glynni as an endangered species are probably unwarranted. The specimens we examined harbored Symbiodinium trenchii and some also contained Sy. goreaui, symbionts that occur with Si. siderea in the Atlantic. Moreover, the genotype of Sy. trenchii (a single strain defined by ten diallelic microsatellite loci) was genetically distinct from genotypes of Sy. ‘glynni,’ also in Clade D, found abundantly in colonies of Pocillopora throughout the region. Furthermore, the strain of Sy. trenchii grouped with genotypes from the Greater Caribbean, an inbred population that was recently introduced from the Indo-West Pacific. This secondary introduction suggests that strains of Caribbean Sy. trenchii are capable of dispersal into new reef coral communities where this symbiont does not presently exist.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science