Abundant betaines in giant clams (Tridacnidae) and western Pacific reef corals, including study of coral betaine acclimatization

Richard W. Hill, Eric J. Armstrong, Aaron M. Florn, Chao Li, Ryan W. Walquist, Ahser Edward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A large literature documents that betaines play significant roles in protecting photosynthesis in the face of multiple stresses, including heat and photon stresses, in terrestrial plants and free-living algae. Betaines therefore can be expected to defend against photosystem stresses (e.g. photoinhibition and bleaching) in reef-building corals and tridacnid clams (both symbiotic with algae) in addition to functioning as osmolytes employed in osmotic stress defense. None - theless, the presence of betaines has just started to be studied in corals and has never before been investigated in tridacnids. The present research demonstrates the following. (1) Betaines, especially aminovaleric acid betaine and glycine betaine (GlyB), are abundant metabolites in all 4 major tissues of 5 tridacnid species studied. (2) Pacific corals have at least 9 betaines rather than only 1 as previously reported. (3) In regards to concentrations of betaines in Pacific corals, GlyB and proline betaine (ProB) typically dominate. Taxa differ in betaine profiles, however, including that Acropora spp. are exceptionally low in total betaines and Porites spp. have (in addition to GlyB and ProB) relatively high concentrations of alanine betaine, hydroxyproline betaine, and taurine betaine. (4) Genus-specific betaine profiles in corals may well be consistent across the Pacific basin. (5) During a year of laboratory acclimatization, coral species studied declined in bulk skeletal density and underwent both increases and decreases in betaine concentrations.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages27-41
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume576
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 3 2017

Profile

Tridacnidae
betaine
clams
acclimation
coral reefs
coral reef
corals
coral
alga
algae
photoinhibition
bleaching
metabolite
photosynthesis
reef
acid
proline

Keywords

  • Bleaching
  • Chemical ecology
  • Metabolite
  • Osmolyte
  • Photoinhibition
  • Stress resistance
  • Symbiodinium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Abundant betaines in giant clams (Tridacnidae) and western Pacific reef corals, including study of coral betaine acclimatization. / Hill, Richard W.; Armstrong, Eric J.; Florn, Aaron M.; Li, Chao; Walquist, Ryan W.; Edward, Ahser.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 576, 03.08.2017, p. 27-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hill, Richard W. ; Armstrong, Eric J. ; Florn, Aaron M. ; Li, Chao ; Walquist, Ryan W. ; Edward, Ahser. / Abundant betaines in giant clams (Tridacnidae) and western Pacific reef corals, including study of coral betaine acclimatization. In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. 2017 ; Vol. 576. pp. 27-41
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