Monday, April 16, 2018

Scientific publication in Marine Biology

How does an animal behave like a plant?

This is the title of the review paper that the French Academy of Sciences has just published in its latest issue of Comptes Rendus Biologies.

Written by Professors Denis Allemand (CSM) and Paola Furla (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis), this paper is a synthesis of recent work on the symbiosis that link coral with its symbiotic algae, zooxanthellae. This paper follows the symposium "Symbiosis and Cohabitation" that the Academy of Sciences organized on April 25, 2017. Prof. Denis Allemand had presented a
conference showing the originality of corals and the interest of their study. Indeed, the own constraints of a plant and an animal are very different, therefore in order to allow the two partners to cohabit within the same organism, the evolution has developed deep molecular and physiological adaptations, detailed in this article in the light of the latest work including those of the authors' laboratories. Unfortunately, this fascinating symbiosis is now threatened by global warming, which leads to the break-up of this association, a phenomenon called "coral bleaching". But solutions exist to save the reefs, yet we must act quickly.

© CSM
Coral tentacle with transparent zooxanthellae, intracellular symbiotic algae (brown clusters).
© CSM
Animal coral cell containing two zooxanthellae, observed in confocal microscopy in the CSM laboratories. Both zooxanthellae (both round cells) occupy more than 90% of the volume of the animal cell (orange color in the center).

 

Allemand D and Furla P. (2018). How does an animal behave like a plant? Physiological and molecular adpatations of zooxanthellae and their hosts to symbiosis. Comptes Rendus Biologies, doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2018.03.007.

 

 For more information, contact www.centrescientifique.mc or:

- Pr Denis Allemand, Scientific Director of the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (allemand@centrescientifique.mc).

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