This colloquial Australian phrase embodies notions of fair play and recognition of one's debts.
A ‘fair go’ for coral hybridization*
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2003
Volume 12, Issue 4, pages 805–807, April 2003
How to Cite
Miller, D. J. and Van Oppen, M. J. H. (2003), A ‘fair go’ for coral hybridization. Molecular Ecology, 12: 805–807. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2003.01808.x
- Issue published online: 28 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 28 MAR 2003
- Received 1 October 2002; revision received 6 January 2003; accepted 6 January 2003
- reticulate evolution;
- species boundaries;
- species concepts
Hybridisation between coral species clearly occurs in vitro, but the evolutionary significance of this cross-fertility is still the subject of much debate. Compelling genetic and reproductive evidence support introgressive hybridization amongst Indo-Pacific members of the scleractinian genus Acropora. Although population genetic analyses indicate that interspecific hybridization events are relatively rare, they are likely be important on evolutionary time scales, creating the capacity for adaptive evolution by increasing genomic diversity and heterozygosity. However, in a recent paper based exclusively on the three endemic Caribbean Acropora species, Vollmer and Palumbi (2002) dispute the occurrence of reticulation in corals. Here we use data from both the Vollmer and Palumbi study and our earlier paper on the same species (van Oppen et al., 2000) to show that reticulation has occurred amongst the Caribbean Acropora species. Furthermore, conclusions based on the limited Caribbean Acropora fauna cannot simply be extrapolated to Indo-Pacific corals, and it is inappropriate to view some coral species as ‘immortal mules’.