With the help of The Santos Lab at the University of Auburn, we are developing a comprehensive database that provides researchers with geographic and environmental distributions of host-symbiont associations (link to database). While available data are presently limited to the tropical western Atlantic, this will grow to include regions worldwide. This resource should help investigators plan and conduct local and large scale comparative experiments on coral physiology and make there findings directly comparable with others around the world. More critically a standardized taxonomic nomenclature for Symbiodinium is badly needed. Efforts to resolve and classify diversity have created some confusion because different research laboratories apply different analyses targeting different DNA regions. The reporting of sequences from different genes and/or use of different techniques rarely allows for cross-comparison between published findings. A universal database created from a consistent application of high-resolution molecular genetic protocols will help researchers working around the world contributes knowledge that will be directly comparable with past and future findings.
Visit the diversity database.