Glycerol Excretion by Symbiotic Algae from Corals and Tridacna and Its Control by the Host

Science  28 Apr 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3774, pp. 516-519
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3774.516


Zooxanthellae isolated from reef corals and Tridacna crocea incorporate labeled carbon dioxide photosynthetically. In the presence of some component of the host tissue, up to 40 percent of the labeled algal photosynthate is liberated primarily as glycerol. Excretion of glycerol by the algae in situ and its control and utilization by the host may represent a mechanism by which zooxanthellae contribute to produtctivity of coral reefs.