Por Mauro Rebelo

Sun Coral Genome


Genome sequencing is a milestone in the life history of a species. But what we call sun coral is a mixture of species, probably all from the genus Tubastraea, with many gaps in knowledge and taxonomic difficulties. In a situation like this, the genome can become a fundamental tool for defining the identity of species.

Our group has sequenced the genome of 3 morphotypes of sun coral that occur on the Brazilian coast. The morphotype often associated with the species Tubastraea tagusensis, dendroid and orange; the morphotype associated with the species Tubastraea coccinea, placoid and yellowish; and a third morphotype, not yet taxonomically identified, but which could be either a new species, a hybrid or one of the previous species.

While the mitochondrial DNA analysis did not have sufficient resolution to define the phylogeny of this third morphotype, other analyses point strongly in the direction of a third species. The number of chromosomes is different from the other two and, although there is no clear parameter for the % difference in DNA to separate species, the difference between them is much greater than the differences that separate other species. For example, it is greater than the difference between the genomes of humans and chimpanzees.

The publications are still in pre-print format:

  • Draft genome of the invasive coral Tubastraea sp. Giordano Bruno Soares-Souza, Danielle Amaral, André Q. Torres, Daniela Batista, Aline Silva Romão-Dumaresq, Luciana Leomil, Marcela Uliano-Silva, Francesco Dondero, Mauro de Freitas Rebelo
  • The genomes of invasive coral Tubastraea spp. (Dendrophylliidae) as tool for the development of biotechnological solutions. Giordano Bruno Soares-Souza, Danielle Amaral, Daniela Batista, André Q. Torres, Anna Carolini Silva Serra, Marcela Uliano-Silva, Luciana Leomil, Aryane Camos Reis, Elyabe Monteiro de Matos, Emiliano Calderon, Vriko Yu, Francesco Dondero, Saulo Marçal de Sousa, David Baker, Aline Dumaresq, Mauro F. Rebelo

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Tags: TRL#1