Viruses: agents of coral disease?

Davy, S. K., Burchett, S. G., Dale, A. L., Davies, P. R., Davy, J. E., Muncke, C., Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Wilson, W. H. (2006) Viruses: agents of coral disease?. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 69 1: 101-110. doi:10.3354/dao069101

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Author Davy, S. K.
Burchett, S. G.
Dale, A. L.
Davies, P. R.
Davy, J. E.
Muncke, C.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
Wilson, W. H.
Title Viruses: agents of coral disease?
Journal name Diseases of Aquatic Organisms   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0177-5103
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/dao069101
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 69
Issue 1
Start page 101
End page 110
Total pages 10
Editor Otto Kinne
Place of publication Oldendorf Luhe
Publisher Inter-Research
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
270303 Virology
760104 Environmental education and awareness
Abstract The potential role of viruses in coral disease has only recently begun to receive attention. Here we describe our attempts to determine whether viruses are present in thermally stressed corals Pavona danai, Acropora formosa and Stylophora pistillata and zoanthids Zoanthus sp., and their zooxanthellae. Heat-shocked P. danai, A. formosa and Zoanthus sp. all produced numerous virus-like particles (VLPs) that were evident in the animal tissue, zooxanthellae and the surrounding seawater; VLPs were also seen around heat-shocked freshly isolated zooxanthellae (FIZ) from P. danai and S. pistillata. The most commonly seen VLPs were tail-less, hexagonal and about 40 to 50 nm in diameter, though a diverse range of other VLP morphotypes (e.g. rounded, rod-shaped, droplet-shaped, filamentous) were also present around corals. When VLPs around heat-shocked FIZ from S. pistillata were added to non-stressed FIZ from this coral, they resulted in cell lysis, suggesting that an infectious agent was present; however, analysis with transmission electron microscopy provided no clear evidence of viral infection. The release of diverse VLPs was again apparent when flow cytometry was used to enumerate release by heat-stressed A. formosa nubbins. Our data support the infection of reef corals by viruses, though we cannot yet determine the precise origin (i.e. coral, zooxanthellae and/or surface microbes) of the VLPs seen. Furthermore, genome sequence data are required to establish the presence of viruses unequivocally.
Keyword Fisheries
Veterinary Sciences
coral disease
coral health
Dinoflagellate Symbiodinium Sp
Emiliania-huxleyi Bloom
Symbiotic Dinoflagellate
Microbial Communities
Marine Viruses
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 10:56:43 EST