LEPTASTREA PURPUREA: A POSSIBLE MODEL ORGANISM FOR CORAL REPRODUCTION AND PHYSIOLOGY
Sexually produced larvae are used in various fields of coral research. Because the vast majority of scleractinians reproduces only once or a few times a year and an ex-situ spawning induction is still very hard to achieve, obtaining planula larvae is still very labor intensive. Larvae of brooding corals can be used but are oftentimes clonal and differ in various traits, e.g. settlement behavior, from most spawning corals. Other cnidarians, such as Aiptasia spp. have been substituting scleractinians as model organisms in coral research. Admittedly, the transferability of conclusions obtained from these species can be questionable. This study examines the potential of Leptastrea purpurea as a reliable source of larvae for coral research. L. purpurea is a small (approx. 10 cm) encrusting faviid coral that occurs from the Red Sea to Easter Island. It is common on reef flats and can also be found in depths of up to 30 m. Larval output throughout the year as well a1s settlement behavior of planulae was investigated with corals from Guam. Our results show that L. purpurea releases larvae in a nonperiodic manner allowing permanent access to planulae. The settlement behavior of L. purpurea is similar to many spawning species which increases the transferability of conclusions. We discuss the aptitude of L. purpurea for research on scleractinian physiology, reproduction and ecology and conclude that L. purpurea is an adequate candidate as model organism that could accelerate progress in many fields of coral research.
Nietzer, S., University of Oldenburg, Germany, email@example.com
Moeller, M., University of Oldenburg, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
Schupp, P., University of Oldenburg, Germany, email@example.com
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall
Presentation is given by student: Yes