Apoptotic and necrotic stages of Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) cell death activity: Bleaching of soft and scleractinian corals

Strychar, K, Sammarco, P and Piva, T 2004, 'Apoptotic and necrotic stages of Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) cell death activity: Bleaching of soft and scleractinian corals', Phycologia, vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 768-777.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Apoptotic and necrotic stages of Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) cell death activity: Bleaching of soft and scleractinian corals
Author(s) Strychar, K
Sammarco, P
Piva, T
Year 2004
Journal name Phycologia
Volume number 43
Issue number 6
Start page 768
End page 777
Total pages 10
Publisher International Phycological Society
Abstract Mechanisms which regulate abundances of Symbiodinium populations during bleaching are not yet fully understood. Currently proposed mechanisms include cell exocytosis, host-cell detachment, apoptosis and necrosis. Here we have analysed zooxanthellae of soft and scleractinian corals under thermal stress using light, fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and confirmed that different stages of apoptotic and necrotic cell death of Symbiodinium occur. The diagnostic characteristic of apoptosis within Symbiodinium cells included nuclear and organelle condensation, membrane blebbing, the formation of apoptotic bodies and mitochondrial swelling. Necrotic cells swell, cytoplasmic organelles fuse and burst, followed by Symbiodinium cell membrane disintegration and release of cytosolic contents. In addition, TEM showed that apoptotic and necrotic processes are initiated in situ. Symbiont cells in the process of dying in situ therefore reduce the likelihood of recolonization upon expulsion from the host.
Subject Ecological Physiology
Keyword(s) Species Index: Anthozoa
Dinophyceae
Scleractinia
Symbiodinium
Copyright notice © International Phycological Society Nov 2004
ISSN 0031-8884
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