The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis by Baumgarten, Sebastian and Simakov, Oleg and Esherick, Lisl and Liew, Yi Jin and Lehnert, Erik and Michell, Craig and Li, Yong and Hambleton, Elizabeth and Guse, Annika and Oates, Matt and Gough, Julian and Weis, Virginia and Aranda Lastra, Manuel and Pringle, John and Voolstra, Christian
Baumgarten, Sebastian & Simakov, Oleg & Esherick, Lisl & Liew, Yi Jin & Lehnert, Erik & Michell, Craig & Li, Yong & Hambleton, Elizabeth & Guse, Annika & Oates, Matt & Gough, Julian & Weis, Virginia & Aranda Lastra, Manuel & Pringle, John & Voolstra, Christian. (2015). The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112. 10.1073/pnas.1513318112.
This paper helps establish the relationship that Aiptasia and coral have together based on their symbiosis with dinoflagellates. They did this by comparing the genes of Aiptasia, more specifically the horizontal gene transfer. First looking at the genetic similarity, Aiptasia has about 26% repeated sequences of DNA which is somewhat the other cnidarians, its phylum. Through their data analysis of the DNA, they were able to contribute to how the dinoflagellate endosymbiosis functions on a protein level which is important for understanding how coral reefs operate.
Although most of the DNA sequencing and methods went over my head I can point out the bits of information I did pick up on. They first used flow cytometry, which from my understanding is you put the dye called propidium iodide that then binds to the DNA and as it pasts through a laser you can calculate the size of the DNA, from this they found that the size of Aiptasia was 260Mb. To obtain the DNA they bred a colony of aposymbiotic Aiptasia which may help and hurt this study. The paper might have clarified this and I did not understand but there could be a possibility that with the aposymbiotic Aiptasia the DNA analysis may have skipped over the DNA responsible for symbiosis as it might not have been active and therefore overlooked (of course I could be wrong.) After which, they looked at how much of the DNA was repeated which was 26%, and compared it with other cnidarians, and then looked at the shared genes in the taxonomy. To have a closer inspect they used BLASTP to search for the gene that contains cystathionine-Beta-synthase which synthesizes cysteine from methionine. Using context clues, I think this helps create sulfur-containing amino acids, I am not quite sure. The rest of the methodology is completely over my head.
One question I had, and not that the answer helps me but, it stated that in Acropora species states that various proteins are transferred from the dinoflagellates to the host, are the same proteins transported to Aiptasia.
Most of the useful information to me and my research was found on the first page. The paper states that Coral reefs are critical for marine biodiversity and also hold other incentives which is economy that goes hand in hand with its aesthetics. All of this is fueled by the endosymbiosis between dinoflagellates and the cnidarians. The dinoflagellates are housed vesicles in the gut, gastrodermis, cells from here can provide 90% of the energy needed for the host. The host returns it with shelter and inorganic nutrients that the cell cannot make itself. This symbiosis is most crucial in nutrient-poor waters. Therefore understand the process might help for future planning and research.