Zooxanthallae

Luke McDowell, Taylor Tostonoski

Some Major Characteristics

They are Single Celled Protozoans.

They are a Yellow-ish Brown dinoflagellate ( ) they can be found in large numbers within the Cytoplasm of other many types of marine invertebrates.

They are symbiotic . Meaning they can live in harmony with other species.


When not attached to a host it moves using two flagella, however once it becomes symbiotic with another marine invertebrate it loses them.

The Zooxanthallae are mostly known for their impacts on coral reefs, but some of their most common hosts include jellyfish, Sea anemones, and types of mollusk.

Are they good or Bad?

Even though Zooxanthallae are technically a parasite, I beleive that they are good because not only do they benefit from the relationship but the hosts do as well.


Zooxanthallae are photosynthetic organisms, therefore within the symbiotic relationship they can provide to their hosts all of the gifts that come from photosynthesis such as organic carbon, and nitrogen. In some. Cases the Zooxanthallae can provide up to 90% of its hosts energy needed for reproduction, metabolism, and growth. The hosts are basically supercharged. In return the host provides nutrients, carbon dioxide, and an elevated position in the ocean so that the Zooxanthallae can access more sunshine. It is a very healthy relationship.

Bibliography ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiodinium ) ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zooxanthellae )