Heat-Stress and Light-Stress Induce Different Cellular Pathologies in the Symbiotic Dinoflagellate during Coral Bleaching Academic Article uri icon


  • Coral bleaching is a significant contributor to the worldwide degradation of coral reefs and is indicative of the termination of symbiosis between the coral host and its symbiotic algae (dinoflagellate; Symbiodinium sp. complex), usually by expulsion or xenophagy (symbiophagy) of its dinoflagellates. Herein, we provide evidence that during the earliest stages of environmentally induced bleaching, heat stress and light stress generate distinctly different pathomorphological changes in the chloroplasts, while a combined heat-and light- stress exposure induces both pathomorphologies; suggesting that these stressors act on the dinoflagellate by different mechanisms. Within the first 48 hours of a heat stress (32° C) under low-light conditions, heat stress induced decomposition of thylakoid structures before observation of extensive oxidative damage; thus it is the disorganization of the thylakoids …

publication date

  • January 1, 2013