Symbioses play an important role within the marine environment. Among the most well known of these symbioses is that between coral and the photosynthetic dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium spp. Understanding the metabolic relationships between the host and the symbiont is of the utmost importance in order to gain insight into how this symbiosis may be disrupted due to environmental stressors. Here we summarize the metabolites related to nutritional roles, diel cycles and the common metabolites associated with the invertebrate-Symbiodinium relationship. We also review the more obscure metabolites and toxins that have been identified through natural products and biomarker research. Finally, we discuss the key role that metabolomics and functional genomics will play in understanding these important symbioses.
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