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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Apr 15;89(8):3639-43.

Ribosomal RNA sequences and the diversity of symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae).

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3094.

Abstract

Zooxanthellae are unicellular algae that occur as endosymbionts in many hundreds of common marine invertebrates. The issue of zooxanthella diversity has been difficult to address. Most zooxanthellae have been placed in the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium as one or several species that are not easily distinguished. We compared Symbiodinium and nonsymbiotic dinoflagellates using small ribosomal subunit RNA sequences. Surprisingly, small ribosomal subunit RNA diversity within the genus Symbiodinium is comparable to that observed among different orders of nonsymbiotic dinoflagellates. These data reinforce the conclusion that Symbiodinium-like zooxanthellae represent a collection of distinct species and provide a precedent for a molecular genetic taxonomy of the genus Symbiodinium.

PMID:
1565660
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC48924
Free PMC Article
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