Previous attempts to extract high molecular weight DNA from hermatypic corals have failed because the starting material was mature tissue. The following paper describes the isolation of DNA from coral sperm which is of high molecular weight, and is suitable for DNA hybridization, digestion with restriction endonucleases and cloning. Gross DNA hybridization and hybridization with cloned repetitive DNA was used to investigate relatedness amongst members of the scleractinian coral family Acroporidae. Acropora formosa and A. pulchra were found to share a common (highly homologous) DNA sequence repeat; a related but less homologous sequence was present in A. latistella, and no homologous sequence was detected in Montipora digitata. These results imply a close taxonomic relationship between A. formosa and A. pulchra, and suggest that molecular criteria of this sort will be extremely useful in coral taxonomy.
McMillan, J, Yellowlees, D, Heyward, A, Harrison, P & Miller, DJ 1988, 'Preparation of high molecular weight DNA from hermatypic corals and its use for DNA hybridization and cloning', Marine Biology, vol. 98, no. 2, pp. 271-276.
Published version available from: