Jörg C. Frommlet (U. Aveiro) will present a seminar entitled "Evidence for an autoendolithic phase in the life history of coral symbiotic algae" at 12 pm at CIIMAR facilities.
Tropical coral reefs would not exist without symbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Yet, many of these dinoflagellates also live a secretive, second life as free-living cells in the plankton and the benthos. Our research revealed that free-living Symbiodinium and bacteria can form calcifying communities that encase Symbiodinium as endolithic cells. In this seminar, I will give an overview of our work on this novel bacterial-algal calcification process, starting from its discovery in culture; over mechanistic and functional studies; to our latest fieldwork in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, to search for direct evidence of endolithic Symbiodinium populations in nature.