Zoological Studies

Vol. 62, 2023

(update: 2023.8.11)

Cellular and Biochemical Changes in Early Embryonic Development of a Scleractinian Coral, Fimbriaphyllia (Euphyllia) ancora

Shinya Shikina1,2,*, Yi-Ling Chiu3, Yi-Jou Chung4, Yi-ChenYao4, Tai-Yu Liu4, Yan-Horn Lee5, Masatoshi Mita6,*, and Ching-Fong Chang2,4,*

1Institute of Marine Environment and Ecology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan. *Correspondences: E-mail: shikina@mail.ntou.edu.tw (Shikina)
2Center of Excellence for the Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan
3Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan. E-mail: yii2390@gmail.com (Chiu)
4Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan. *Correspondences: E-mail: b0044@email.ntou.edu.tw (Chang)
    E-mail: jackyao0818@gmail.com (Yao); w198730@gmail.com (Liu)
5Tungkang Biotechnology Research Center, Fisheries Research Institute, Tungkang 202008, Taiwan. E-mail: leeyh4331@hotmail.com (Lee)
6Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. *Correspondences: E-mail: bio-mita@med.showa-u.ac.jp (Mita)

(Received 2 February 2022 / Accepted 9 May 2023 / Published 11 August 2023)
Communicated by Yoko Nozawa

Knowledge of early life histories of scleractinian corals is essential for ecological studies (e.g., larval dispersion and connectivity) and development of aquaculture techniques. The present study documents cellular and biochemical changes during early development of a scleractinian coral, Fimbriaphyllia ancora (Order Scleractinia, Family Euphyllidae). Observations of spawning revealed that F. ancora releases positively buoyant eggs. No fertilization membrane surrounded fertilized eggs, which developed into swimming planula larvae within 48 h after fertilization. Lipid content analysis showed that eggs are rich in wax esters, and that the wax ester concentration decreases significantly in planulae. Sugar content analysis revealed that the eggs are also rich in glycogen, and that the glycogen concentration increases as development progresses. Free glucose was not detected in samples that we analyzed. Moreover, a settlement assay showed that F. ancora planulae prefer to settle on dead coral debris, compared to other substrate materials, such as plastic, microscope slides, ceramics, and crustose coralline algae.

Key words: Scleractinian corals, Embryogenesis, Wax ester, Glycogen, Fimbriaphyllia ancora

Citation: Shikina S, Chiu YL, Chung YJ, Yao YC, Liu TY, Lee YH, Mita M, Chang CF. 2023. Cellular and biochemical changes in early embryonic development of a scleractinian coral, Fimbriaphyllia (Euphyllia) ancora. Zool Stud 62:38. doi:10.6620/ZS.2023.62-38.