The relationship between taxonomic position and the lipid composition of octocorals from coastal waters of Vietnam was investigated. The principal component analysis of the total fatty acid (FA) composition of 64 coral specimens showed that total FAs are markers at the family level. A good distinction was obtained between antipatarians, gorgonians, and alcyonarians. Azooxanthellate corals of the genus Dendronephthya formed a separate group. The alcyonarian genera Sinularia, Lobophytum, and Sarcophyton were distinguished only by the composition of polyunsaturated FAs. The taxon-specific composition of FAs in octocorals is likely to be determined by differences in the nutrition of food sources, symbiont composition, and the enzymatic activity of FA biosynthesis.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 12, 2008
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