The branching zooxanthellate soft coral Sinularia flexibillis releases antimicrobial and toxic compounds with potential pharmaceutical importance. As photosynthesis by the symbiotic algae is vital to the host, the light-dependency of the coral, including its specific growth rate (µ day-1) and the physiological response to a range of light intensities (10–1,000 µmol quanta m-2 s-1) was studied for 12 weeks. Although a range of irradiances from 100 to 400 µmol quanta m-2 s-1 was favorable for S. flexibilis, based on chlorophyll content, a light intensity around 100 µmol quanta m-2 s-1 was found to be optimal. The contents of both zooxanthellae and chlorophyll a were highest at 100 µmol quanta m-2 s-1. The specific budding rate showed almost the same pattern as the specific growth rate. The concentration of the terpene flexibilide, produced by this species, increased at high light intensities (200–600 µmol quanta m-2 s-1).
- scleractinian coral
- enhanced calcification
Khalesi, M. K., Beeftink, H. H., & Wijffels, R. H. (2009). Light-Dependency of Growth and Secondary Metabolite Production in the Captive Zooxanthellate Soft Coral Sinularia flexibilis. Marine Biotechnology, 11(4), 488-494. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10126-008-9164-z