Investigating Species Boundaries within the Hard Coral Genus Goniopora (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) from the Red Sea Using an Integrative Morphomolecular Approach

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/583537
Title:
Investigating Species Boundaries within the Hard Coral Genus Goniopora (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) from the Red Sea Using an Integrative Morphomolecular Approach
Authors:
Terraneo, Tullia Isotta ( 0000-0003-2806-4471 )
Abstract:
In the present study the species boundaries of the scleractinian coral genus Goniopora from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were investigated. An integrated morpho-molecular approach was used to better clarify the complex scenario derived from traditional classification efforts based on skeletal morphology. Traditional taxonomy of this genus considers skeletal morphology first and polyp morphology as a secondary discriminating character. This leads to potential complication due to plasticity in skeletal features within a species. To address this issue, molecular analyses of evolutionary relationships between nine traditional morphospecies of Goniopora from the Red Sea were performed and were used to re-evaluate the informativeness of macromorphological and micromorphological features. Between four and six putative molecular lineages were identified within Goniopora samples from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea on the basis of four molecular markers: the mitochondrial intergenic spacer between Cytochrome b and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, the entire nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region, the ATP synthase subunit β gene, and a portion of the Calmodulin gene. The results were strongly corroborated by three distinct analyses of species delimitation. Subsequent analyses of micromorphological and microstructural skeletal features identified the presence of distinctive characters in each of the molecular clades. Unique in vivo morphologies were associated with the genetic-delimited lineages, further supporting the molecular findings. The proposed re-organization of Goniopora will resolve several taxonomic problems in this genus while reconciling molecular and morphological evidence. Reliable species-level identification of Goniopora spp. can be achieved with polyp morphology under the proposed revision.
Advisors:
Berumen, Michael L. ( 0000-0003-2463-2742 )
Committee Member:
Voolstra, Christian R. ( 0000-0003-4555-3795 ) ; Ravasi, Timothy ( 0000-0002-9950-465X )
KAUST Department:
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division; Marine Science Program
Program:
Marine Science
Issue Date:
Dec-2015
Type:
Thesis
Appears in Collections:
Marine Science Program; Theses; Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.advisorBerumen, Michael L.en
dc.contributor.authorTerraneo, Tullia Isottaen
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T08:43:23Zen
dc.date.available2015-12-10T08:43:23Zen
dc.date.issued2015-12en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/583537en
dc.description.abstractIn the present study the species boundaries of the scleractinian coral genus Goniopora from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were investigated. An integrated morpho-molecular approach was used to better clarify the complex scenario derived from traditional classification efforts based on skeletal morphology. Traditional taxonomy of this genus considers skeletal morphology first and polyp morphology as a secondary discriminating character. This leads to potential complication due to plasticity in skeletal features within a species. To address this issue, molecular analyses of evolutionary relationships between nine traditional morphospecies of Goniopora from the Red Sea were performed and were used to re-evaluate the informativeness of macromorphological and micromorphological features. Between four and six putative molecular lineages were identified within Goniopora samples from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea on the basis of four molecular markers: the mitochondrial intergenic spacer between Cytochrome b and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, the entire nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region, the ATP synthase subunit β gene, and a portion of the Calmodulin gene. The results were strongly corroborated by three distinct analyses of species delimitation. Subsequent analyses of micromorphological and microstructural skeletal features identified the presence of distinctive characters in each of the molecular clades. Unique in vivo morphologies were associated with the genetic-delimited lineages, further supporting the molecular findings. The proposed re-organization of Goniopora will resolve several taxonomic problems in this genus while reconciling molecular and morphological evidence. Reliable species-level identification of Goniopora spp. can be achieved with polyp morphology under the proposed revision.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.subjectSpecies Deliminationen
dc.subjectGeneticsen
dc.subjectSclaractinian Coralsen
dc.subjectHaploweben
dc.subjectMorphometryen
dc.subjectMicromorphologyen
dc.titleInvestigating Species Boundaries within the Hard Coral Genus Goniopora (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) from the Red Sea Using an Integrative Morphomolecular Approachen
dc.typeThesisen
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Divisionen
dc.contributor.departmentMarine Science Programen
thesis.degree.grantorKing Abdullah University of Science and Technologyen_GB
dc.contributor.committeememberVoolstra, Christian R.en
dc.contributor.committeememberRavasi, Timothyen
thesis.degree.disciplineMarine Scienceen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen
dc.person.id132580en
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