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Identification of coral endosymbionts of Veedhalai and Mandapam coasts of Palk Bay, India using small subunit rDNA



Rajesh Kannan Murugesan1, Ramkumar Balakrishnan1, Sivakumar Natesan2, Sridhar Jayavel3 & Ramakritinan Chockalingam Muthiah1,*



1Department of Marine and Coastal Studies, School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai–625021, Tamilnadu, India; 2Department of Molecular Microbiology, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai – 625021, Tamilnadu, India; 3Department of Biotechnology, Department of Distance Education, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai – 625021, Tamil Nadu, India; *Corresponding author



Rajesh Kannan Murugesan – E-mail: rajeshlifescience@gmail.com

Ramkumar Balakrishnan – E-mail: ramandramonly@gmail.com

Sivakumar Natesan – E-mail: microshivaak@yahoo.co.in

Sridhar Jayavel – E-mail: sridhar.biotech@mkudde.org

Ramakritinan Chockalingam Muthiah E-mail: ramakritinan@gmail.com cmrseen@mkuniversity.org; Phone: +91-9442039861


Article Type

Research Article



Received January 17, 2022; Revised April 30, 2022; Accepted April 30, 2022, Published April 30, 2022



Coral endosymbionts act as a bio-indicator of coral ecosystem under extreme environmental conditions. The health of the coral ecosystem depends on the endosymbiont cell density of the coral hosts. Therefore, it is of interest to analyze ten coral fragments found to be under the genera Acropora, Favites, Favia, and Porites collected at various locations from Veedhalai to Mandapam, southeast coast of India during January 2019 to March 2019. The zooxanthellae cell count ranged between 4.08 (Porites sp.9) and 13.75×105 cells cm2 -1 (Favites sp.3). This indicates the health of the corals in the region. The genus (clade) level identification of endosymbionts was detected using the host excluding primers of small subunit DNA (nssrDNA). Bidirectional sequencing of 18S nrDNA gene (SSU) of all ten coral fragments show that the Veedhalai corals is associated with the genus Durusdinium (Clade D) but the corals of Mandapam is associated with the genera, Cladocopium (Clade C) and Durusdinium (Clade D). It is known that the thermal stress has negative impact on coral reef ecosystem of the world. The dominance of the genus Durusdinium in the scleractinian corals of Palk Bay may be due to frequent exposure to thermal stress. This thermotolerant endosymbionts is opportunistic. Thus, the corals of Veedhalai and Mandapam coasts, Palk Bay, India are necessarily packed with thermotolerant endosymbionts enabling conservation.



Scleractinian Corals, Endosymbionts, 18S nrDNA, Durusdinium, Cladocopium, Thermotolerant, Palk Bay



Murugesan et al. Bioinformation 18(4): 318-324 (2022)


Edited by

P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.