Mounting of erratic histoincompatible responses in hermatypic corals: A multi-year interval comparison

K. O. Amar, B. Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies on allorecognition in the phylum Cnidaria have disclosed complex arrays of effector mechanisms, specificity and competency to distinguish precisely between self and non-self attributes, and have revealed the existence of allogeneic maturity. Here we studied allo-responses between young Stylophora pistillata colonies by following 517 allogeneic interactions between naturally settled kin aggregates and by establishing 417 forced allogeneic and autogeneic assays made of solitarily settled spat that were cut into two similar size subclones, of which one had been challenged allogeneically. Fused assays were exposed to a second allorecognition challenge, made of three allogeneic types. Whereas about half of the kin allogeneic interactions led to tissue fusions and chimera formations, none of the 83 non-sibling pair combinations were histocompatible. In contrast to previous results we recorded rejections between siblings at the age of less than two months. More challenging, we documented cases of fusions between interacting siblings at ages older than one-year-old partners, all differing from a previous study made on the same coral population more than a decade ago. Similar erratic histoincompatible responses were recorded in other pocilloporid species. We suggest that these results reflect reduced genetic heterogeneity caused by chronic anthropogenic impacts on shallow water coral populations where planulae originating from the same mother colony or from different mother colonies that are genetically related share increasing parts of their genomes. Offspring born to related parents may also reveal an increase in genomic homozygosity and altogether impose erratic alloimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Allorecognition
  • Corals
  • Fusion
  • Histocompatibility
  • Rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mounting of erratic histoincompatible responses in hermatypic corals: A multi-year interval comparison'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this