Symbiosis and microbiome flexibility in calcifying benthic foraminifera of the Great Barrier Reef

Prazeres, Martina, Ainsworth, Tracy, Roberts, T. Edward, Pandolfi, John M. and Leggat, William (2017) Symbiosis and microbiome flexibility in calcifying benthic foraminifera of the Great Barrier Reef. Microbiome, 5 38: . doi:10.1186/s40168-017-0257-7

Author Prazeres, Martina
Ainsworth, Tracy
Roberts, T. Edward
Pandolfi, John M.
Leggat, William
Title Symbiosis and microbiome flexibility in calcifying benthic foraminifera of the Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Microbiome   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2049-2618
Publication date 2017-03-23
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s40168-017-0257-7
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 38
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Symbiosis is a phenomenon that allows organisms to colonise a wide range of environments and occupy a variety of ecological niches in marine environments. Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) are crucial marine calcifiers that rely on photo-endosymbionts for growth and calcification, yet the influence of environmental conditions in shaping their interactions with prokaryotic and eukaryotic associates is poorly known.

Here, we used next-generation sequencing to identify eukaryotic photosynthesizing and prokaryotic microbes associated with the common LBF Amphistegina lobifera across a physio-chemical gradient on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We collected samples from three reef sites located in the inner-, mid- and outer-shelf regions of the northern section of the GBR. Results showed the consistent presence of Bacillaryophyta as the main eukaryotic taxa associated with A. lobifera across all reef sites analysed; however, the abundance and the diversity of prokaryotic organisms varied among reef sites. Inner-shelf specimens showed the highest diversity of prokaryote associates, with a total of 231 genotypes in their core microbiome. A total of 30 taxa were identified in the core microbiome across all reef sites. Within these taxa, Proteobacteria was the most abundant bacteria present. The presence of groups such as Actinobacteria was significantly correlated with inner-shelf populations, whereas the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes was associated with A. lobifera collected from mid- and outer-shelf reef sites.

We found that benthic foraminifera form stable and persistent symbiosis with eukaryotic partners, but flexible and site-specific associations with prokaryotic microbes that likely influence the ecological success of these crucial calcifying organisms on the GBR.
Keyword Bacterial community
Large benthic foraminifera
Environmental gradient
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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