Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 25–34 | Cite as

Predominance of clade D Symbiodinium in shallow-water reef-building corals off Kish and Larak Islands (Persian Gulf, Iran)

  • Pargol Ghavam MostafaviEmail author
  • Seyed Mohammad Reza Fatemi
  • Mohammad Hassan Shahhosseiny
  • Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
  • William Kok Weng Loh
Research Article


Scleractinian coral species harbour communities of photosynthetic taxa of the genus Symbiodinium. As many as eight genetic clades (A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H) of Symbiodinium have been discovered using molecular biology. These clades may differ from each other in their physiology, and thus influence the ecological distribution and resilience of their host corals to environmental stresses. Corals of the Persian Gulf are normally subject to extreme environmental conditions including high salinity and seasonal variation in temperature. This study is the first to use molecular techniques to identify the Symbiodinium of the Iranian coral reefs to the level of phylogenetic clades. Samples of eight coral species were collected at two different depths from the eastern part of Kish Island in the northern Persian Gulf, and Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz. Partial 28S nuclear ribosomal (nr) DNA of Symbiodinium (D1/D2 domains) were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR products were analyzed using single stranded conformational polymorphism and phylogenetic analyses of the LSU DNA sequences from a subset of the samples. The results showed that Symbiodinium populations were generally uniform among and within the populations of eight coral species studied, and there are at least two clades of Symbiodinium from Kish and Larak islands. Clade D was detected from eight of the coral species while clade C was found in two of species only (one species hosted two clades simultaneously). The dominance of clade D might be explained by high temperatures or the extreme temperature variation, typical of the Persian Gulf.


Coral Reef Coral Species Scleractinian Coral Coral Bleaching Single Stranded Conformational Polymorphism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank first the Marine Research Bureau of Deparment of the Environment of Iran for financial support of this study, Also the Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, Australia and Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti Medical School, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular Dr. B. Kazemi, N. Seyed and M. Bandehpoor for laboratory assistant of this research. PGM would like to express special thanks to M. R. Shokri for filed assistance and useful discussion. Collection of coral samples complied with the environmental protection laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We thank the three anonymous reviewers who provided useful advice to improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pargol Ghavam Mostafavi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Seyed Mohammad Reza Fatemi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Hassan Shahhosseiny
    • 2
  • Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
    • 3
  • William Kok Weng Loh
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIslamic Republic of Iran
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Shahryar/Shahr-e Ghods UnitIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIslamic Republic of Iran
  3. 3.Centre for Marine StudiesUniversity of QueenslandSt.LuciaAustralia
  4. 4.Marine Biology AustraliaTowongAustralia

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