Simon is a newly appoint postdoctoral fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef
Studies based at UQ.
Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis is key to the productivity and growth of coral reefs. The underlying cellular pathways that control the onset, maintenance and breakdown of cnidarian– dinoflagellate symbiosis are just beginning to be described. The pathways that have been shown to operate during these processes are highly conserved from yeast to complex metazoans, including higher vertebrates. Two examples of these pathways are apoptosis and autophagy, which are crucial to development, tissue homeostasis and immunity. Apoptosis and autophagy are active within the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and are being shown to be part of a common cellular language present throughout all metazoans. This commonality gives key insight into many processes that control this important symbiosis.