[Photo from Culture Collection of Marine Phytoplankton – Maine, United States]
Cladocopium sp. clade C (AlgaeBase) is one of the seven genera which were previously classified as 'clades' of dinoflagellates in the Symbiodiniaceae class. Symbiodinium are unicellular algae commonly residing in the endoderm of tropical cnidarians such as corals, sea anemones, and jellyfish, where the products of their photosynthetic processing are exchanged in the host for inorganic molecules. They are also harbored by various species of demosponges, flatworms, mollusks such as the giant clams, foraminifera (soritids), and some ciliates. Generally, these dinoflagellates enter the host cell through phagocytosis, persist as intracellular symbionts, reproduce, and disperse to the environment. The exception is in most mollusks, where these symbionts are intercellular. Cnidarians that are associated with Symbiodinium occur mostly in warm oligotrophic, marine environments where they are often the dominant constituents of benthic communities. These dinoflagellates are therefore among the most abundant eukaryotic microbes found in coral reef ecosystems. [From Wikipedia]
The experimental samples used for this species can be found in Data S4 of our supplementary data.