Bacterial communities of two ubiquitous Great Barrier Reef corals reveals both site- and species-specificity of common bacterial associates

Kvennefors, E. Charlotte E., Sampayo, Eugenia, Ridgway, Tyrone, Barnes, Andrew Cartner and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2010) Bacterial communities of two ubiquitous Great Barrier Reef corals reveals both site- and species-specificity of common bacterial associates. PLoS One, 5 4: e10401 - 1-e10401 - 14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010401


Author Kvennefors, E. Charlotte E.
Sampayo, Eugenia
Ridgway, Tyrone
Barnes, Andrew Cartner
Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
Title Bacterial communities of two ubiquitous Great Barrier Reef corals reveals both site- and species-specificity of common bacterial associates
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2010-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0010401
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 4
Start page e10401 - 1
End page e10401 - 14
Total pages 14
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060504 Microbial Ecology
Formatted abstract
Background

Coral-associated bacteria are increasingly considered to be important in coral health, and altered bacterial community structures have been linked to both coral disease and bleaching. Despite this, assessments of bacterial communities on corals rarely apply sufficient replication to adequately describe the natural variability. Replicated data such as these are crucial in determining potential roles of bacteria on coral.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of the V3 region of the 16S ribosomal DNA was used in a highly replicated approach to analyse bacterial communities on both healthy and diseased corals. Although site-specific variations in the bacterial communities of healthy corals were present, host species-specific bacterial associates within a distinct cluster of gamma-proteobacteria could be identified, which are potentially linked to coral health. Corals affected by “White Syndrome” (WS) underwent pronounced changes in their bacterial communities in comparison to healthy colonies. However, the community structure and bacterial ribotypes identified in diseased corals did not support the previously suggested theory of a bacterial pathogen as the causative agent of the syndrome.

Conclusions/Significance

This is the first study to employ large numbers of replicated samples to assess the bacterial communities of healthy and diseased corals, and the first culture-independent assessment of bacterial communities on WS affected Acroporid corals on the GBR. Results indicate that a minimum of 6 replicate samples are required in order to draw inferences on species, spatial or health-related changes in community composition, as a set of clearly distinct bacterial community profiles exist in healthy corals. Coral bacterial communities may be both site and species specific. Furthermore, a cluster of gamma-proteobacterial ribotypes may represent a group of specific common coral and marine invertebrate associates. Finally, the results did not support the contention that a single bacterial pathogen may be the causative agent of WS Acroporids on the GBR.  © 2010 Kvennefors et al.
Keyword 16s Ribosomal-rna
Black band disease
Gradient Gel-electrophoresis
Mucus-associated bacteria
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number e10401, pp. 1-14

 
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Created: Sun, 16 May 2010, 10:01:56 EST