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Adaptive evolution in the sorittids marginopora and amphisorus foraminiferida

, : Adaptive evolution in the sorittids marginopora and amphisorus foraminiferida. Scanning Electron Microscopy (2): 53-60

The foraminiferid family Soritidae (suborder Miliolina) includes specialized subfamilies restricted to shallow tropical to subtropical marine waters. Nearly all are giants among foraminiferids, have symbiotic protistan photosynthesizers and complex labyrinthic chambers of cyclical chambers subdivided into chamberlets. Amphisorus and Marginopora, subfamily Soritinae, from the Great Barrier Reef [Australia] were studied by SEM [scanning electron microscopy]. Two types of chamberlets are formed in these 2 genera: equatorial chamberlets and lateral chamberlets. In Amphisorus and Marginopora, the early stages of wall formation in a newly formed equatorial chamberlet have an intermeshed set of calcitic rod bundles that loosely overlap one another. Within the foraminiferal shell, symbionts are concentrated in the cytoplasm of the lateral chamberlets which are exposed to sunlight. Symbiosis between these Foraminiferida and zooxanthellae appears to be a long historical relationship in which the foraminiferal shell was extensively modified to accommodate the symbionts.


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