32 Desmophyllum dianthus Genetics and More
The scientific understanding on phylogeny, ecology and evolution of scleractinian corals has been expanded thanks to the numerous applications of molecular markers. Nevertheless, shallow-water tropical corals were the main subject of these studies so far. Just recently scientists have focused their attention on deep and cold-water corals. In the last decade, the solitary coral Desmophyllum dianthus (Esper, 1794) has been the subject of several studies focused on phylogeny, ecology, and physiology. This drop chapter seeks to summarise the novel obtained results, and consequently the arguments arise, in molecular ecology, systematics and evolution of the species. Key roles of this species in the evolutionary studies of scleractinian corals are also discussed.
KeywordsDesmophyllum Lophelia Molecular markers Integrative taxonomy Molecular ecology
I thank the reviewers Sophie Arnaud-Haond and Federica Costantini and the editor Covadonga Orejas for their valuable and insightful comments that improved the manuscript. I want to express my deep gratitude to Agostina Vertino, Jaroslaw Stolarski, Annie Machodorm and her group members at the Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology of MNCN, for their great support and the inspiring discussions. This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (CGL2011-23306 and CTM2014-57949R) and EU CoCoNET—“Towards COast to COast NETworks of marine protected areas (from the shore to the high and deep-sea), coupled with sea-based wind energy potential”—from the VII FP of the European Commission under grant agreement n° 287844.
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