The symbiotic interface between cnidarian and dinoflagellates: identification of the interface facilitators

Projet en cours

Project affiliated to:
Project leader UNS UMR 7138 Systématique Adaptation Evolution
Industrials partners SO
Research partners SO
Budget 870 K€
Cofinanceur publics ANR
Year of labeling 2012
Year of co-financing 2012

Coral ecosystems are among the richest in terms of biodiversity, but they are often threatened by the impact of environmental disturbances, especially those due to global climate change. The reefs are mainly formed by calcifying corals of the Anthozoa (Cnidaria) type, just like sea anemones. The corals’ (Anthozoa) ability to build these reefs is mainly due to the symbiotic relationship established with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the Symbiodinium genus, commonly called zooxanthellae. The relationship between the anthozoan host and its dinoflagellate symbionts is based primarily on trophic exchange: symbionts transfer the majority of the photosynthate they have produced to their host, which in return provides them with carbon, nitrogen and inorganic phosphorus as well as providing a better environment for photosynthesis and protection against herbivores. The inSIDE project objectives are therefore to contribute to the knowledge of the physiology of the Anthozoa focusing on the identification of the symbiotic interface.