Chemotaxis by natural populations of coral reef bacteria.

Tout, Jessica, Jeffries, Thomas C., Petrou, Katherina, Tyson, Gene W., Webster, Nicole S., Garren, Melissa, Stocker, Roman, Ralph, Peter J. and Seymour, Justin R. (2015) Chemotaxis by natural populations of coral reef bacteria.. ISME Journal, 9 8: 1764-1777. doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.261


Author Tout, Jessica
Jeffries, Thomas C.
Petrou, Katherina
Tyson, Gene W.
Webster, Nicole S.
Garren, Melissa
Stocker, Roman
Ralph, Peter J.
Seymour, Justin R.
Title Chemotaxis by natural populations of coral reef bacteria.
Journal name ISME Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1751-7362
1751-7370
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/ismej.2014.261
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 8
Start page 1764
End page 1777
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 2404 Microbiology
1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Abstract Corals experience intimate associations with distinct populations of marine microorganisms, but the microbial behaviours underpinning these relationships are poorly understood. There is evidence that chemotaxis is pivotal to the infection process of corals by pathogenic bacteria, but this evidence is limited to experiments using cultured isolates under laboratory conditions. We measured the chemotactic capabilities of natural populations of coral-associated bacteria towards chemicals released by corals and their symbionts, including amino acids, carbohydrates, ammonium and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Laboratory experiments, using a modified capillary assay, and in situ measurements, using a novel microfabricated in situ chemotaxis assay, were employed to quantify the chemotactic responses of natural microbial assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef. Both approaches showed that bacteria associated with the surface of the coral species Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora aspera exhibited significant levels of chemotaxis, particularly towards DMSP and amino acids, and that these levels of chemotaxis were significantly higher than that of bacteria inhabiting nearby, non-coral-associated waters. This pattern was supported by a significantly higher abundance of chemotaxis and motility genes in metagenomes within coral-associated water types. The phylogenetic composition of the coral-associated chemotactic microorganisms, determined using 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, differed from the community in the seawater surrounding the coral and comprised known coral associates, including potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. These findings indicate that motility and chemotaxis are prevalent phenotypes among coral-associated bacteria, and we propose that chemotaxis has an important role in the establishment and maintenance of specific coral-microbe associations, which may ultimately influence the health and stability of the coral holobiont.
Formatted abstract
Corals experience intimate associations with distinct populations of marine microorganisms, but the microbial behaviours underpinning these relationships are poorly understood. There is evidence that chemotaxis is pivotal to the infection process of corals by pathogenic bacteria, but this evidence is limited to experiments using cultured isolates under laboratory conditions. We measured the chemotactic capabilities of natural populations of coral-associated bacteria towards chemicals released by corals and their symbionts, including amino acids, carbohydrates,  ammonium and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Laboratory experiments, using a modified capillary assay, and in situ measurements, using a novel microfabricated in situ chemotaxis assay,  were employed to quantify the chemotactic responses of natural microbial assemblages on the
Great Barrier Reef. Both approaches showed that bacteria associated with the surface of the coral species Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora aspera exhibited significant levels of chemotaxis,  particularly towards DMSP and amino acids, and that these levels of chemotaxis were significantly higher than that of bacteria inhabiting nearby, non-coral-associated waters. This pattern was supported by a significantly higher abundance of chemotaxis and motility genes in metagenomes
within coral-associated water types. The phylogenetic composition of the coral-associated chemotactic microorganisms, determined using 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, differed from the community in the seawater surrounding the coral and comprised known coral associates,  including potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. These findings indicate that motility and chemotaxis are prevalent phenotypes among coral-associated bacteria, and we propose that chemotaxis has an important role in the establishment and maintenance of specific coral–microbe associations, which may ultimately influence the health and stability of the coral holobiont.
Keyword Ecology
Microbiology
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Microbiology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP110103091
RGY0089
3801
GBMF3783
4483104.3
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
 
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Created: Fri, 30 Jan 2015, 20:56:58 EST by Mrs Louise Nimwegen on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences