Genotypic diversity and distribution of Ostreobium quekettii within scleractinian corals

Eldad Gutner-Hoch, Maoz Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The green filamentous endolithic alga Ostreobiumquekettii resides inside skeletons of scleractinian corals in close proximity with their tissue and plays a role in the viability of the coral and its associates. This study examined the distribution and diversity of O. quekettii within scleractinian corals from the Red Sea (Eilat, Gulf of Aqaba), using a molecular phylogenetic marker. The massive coral species Poriteslutea and Goniastreaperisi were sampled from a depth range of 6-55 m, and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase large subunit gene (rbcL) DNA sequence of the alga was amplified and analyzed for diversity and distribution of ecological patterns. This work reveals that O. quekettii has at least seven different clades distributed along a depth gradient in the examined scleractinian corals. Among the seven identified clades, four were found only in P. lutea, while the other two clades are found in both P. lutea and G. perisi. Goniastrea perisi colonies at depth of 30 m had a distinct O. quekettii clade that was absent in P. lutea. It is obvious from this study that the green endolithic alga O. quekettii is not a single genotype as previously considered but a complex of genotypes and that this differentiation is of ecological significance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)643-650
Number of pages8
JournalCoral Reefs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • 5-bisphosphate carboxylase large subunit gene (rbcL)
  • Clade
  • Endolithic alga
  • Holobiont
  • Ribulose 1
  • Scleractinian coral


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