Saenz Agudelo, Pablo; DiBattista, Joseph; Piatek, Marek J.; Gaither, Michelle R.; Harrison, Hugo B.; Nanninga, Gerrit B.; Berumen, Michael L.(Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2015-12-12)[Article]
Understanding the processes that shape patterns of genetic structure across space is a central aim of landscape genetics. However, it remains unclear how geographic features and environmental variables shape gene flow, particularly for marine species in large complex seascapes. Here, we evaluated the genomic composition of the two-band anemonefish Amphiprion bicinctus across its entire geographic range in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, as well as its close relative, Amphiprion omanensis endemic to the southern coast of Oman. Both the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea are complex and environmentally heterogeneous marine systems that provide an ideal scenario to address these questions. Our findings confirm the presence of two genetic clusters previously reported for A. bicinctus in the Red Sea. Genetic structure analyses suggest a complex seascape configuration, with evidence of both Isolation by Distance (IBD) and Isolation by Environment (IBE). In addition to IBD and IBE, genetic structure among sites was best explained when two barriers to gene flow were also accounted for. One of these coincides with a strong oligotrophic-eutrophic gradient at around 16-20˚N in the Red Sea. The other agrees with an historical bathymetric barrier at the straight of Bab al Mandab. Finally, these data support the presence of inter-specific hybrids at an intermediate suture zone at Socotra and indicate complex patterns of genomic admixture in the Gulf of Aden with evidence of introgression between species. Our findings highlight the power of recent genomic approaches to resolve subtle patterns of gene flow in marine seascapes.
The significance of bacteria for eukaryotic functioning is increasingly recognized. Coral reef ecosystems critically rely on the relationship between coral hosts and their intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellates, but the role of the associated bacteria remains largely theoretical. Here, we set out to relate coral-associated bacterial communities of the fungid host species Ctenactis echinata to environmental settings (geographic location, substrate cover, summer/winter, nutrient and suspended matter concentrations) and coral host abundance. We show that bacterial diversity of C. echinata aligns with ecological differences between sites and that coral colonies sampled at the species’ preferred habitats are primarily structured by one bacterial taxon (genus Endozoicomonas) representing more than 60% of all bacteria. In contrast, host microbiomes from lower populated coral habitats are less structured and more diverse. Our study demonstrates that the content and structure of the coral microbiome aligns with environmental differences and denotes habitat adequacy. Availability of a range of coral host habitats might be important for the conservation of distinct microbiome structures and diversity.
Spaet, Julia L.Y.; Jabado, Rima W; Henderson, Aaron C.; Moore, Alec B. M.; Berumen, Michael L.(Ecology and Evolution, Wiley, 2015-05-20)[Article]
The northwestern Indian Ocean harbors a number of larger marine vertebrate taxa that warrant the investigation of genetic population structure given remarkable spatial heterogeneity in biological characteristics such as distribution, behavior, and morphology. Here, we investigate the genetic population structure of four commercially exploited shark species with different biological characteristics (Carcharhinus limbatus, Carcharhinus sorrah, Rhizoprionodon acutus, and Sphyrna lewini) between the Red Sea and all other water bodies surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. To assess intraspecific patterns of connectivity, we constructed statistical parsimony networks among haplotypes and estimated (1) population structure; and (2) time of most recent population expansion, based on mitochondrial control region DNA and a total of 20 microsatellites. Our analysis indicates that, even in smaller, less vagile shark species, there are no contemporary barriers to gene flow across the study region, while historical events, for example, Pleistocene glacial cycles, may have affected connectivity in C. sorrah and R. acutus. A parsimony network analysis provided evidence that Arabian S. lewini may represent a population segment that is distinct from other known stocks in the Indian Ocean, raising a new layer of conservation concern. Our results call for urgent regional cooperation to ensure the sustainable exploitation of sharks in the Arabian region.
Giles, Emily; Saenz Agudelo, Pablo; Hussey, Nigel E.; Ravasi, Timothy; Berumen, Michael L.(Ecology and Evolution, Wiley, 2015-06-01)[Article]
A main goal of population geneticists is to study patterns of gene flow to gain a better understanding of the population structure in a given organism. To date most efforts have been focused on studying gene flow at either broad scales to identify barriers to gene flow and isolation by distance or at fine spatial scales in order to gain inferences regarding reproduction and local dispersal. Few studies have measured connectivity at multiple spatial scales and have utilized novel tools to test the influence of both environment and geography on shaping gene flow in an organism. Here a seascape genetics approach was used to gain insight regarding geographic and ecological barriers to gene flow of a common reef sponge, Stylissa carteri in the Red Sea. Furthermore, a small-scale (<1 km) analysis was also conducted to infer reproductive potential in this organism. At the broad scale, we found that sponge connectivity is not structured by geography alone, but rather, genetic isolation in the southern Red Sea correlates strongly with environmental heterogeneity. At the scale of a 50-m transect, spatial autocorrelation analyses and estimates of full-siblings revealed that there is no deviation from random mating. However, at slightly larger scales (100–200 m) encompassing multiple transects at a given site, a greater proportion of full-siblings was found within sites versus among sites in a given location suggesting that mating and/or dispersal are constrained to some extent at this spatial scale. This study adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that environmental and ecological variables play a major role in the genetic structure of marine invertebrate populations.
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