Deciphering the nature of the coral-Chromera association

Mohamed, Amin R., Cumbo, Vivian R., Harii, Saki, Shinzato, Chuya, Chan, Cheong Xin, Ragan, Mark A., Satoh, Nori, Ball, Eldon E. and Miller, David J. (2018) Deciphering the nature of the coral-Chromera association. The ISME Journal, . doi:10.1038/s41396-017-0005-9


Author Mohamed, Amin R.
Cumbo, Vivian R.
Harii, Saki
Shinzato, Chuya
Chan, Cheong Xin
Ragan, Mark A.
Satoh, Nori
Ball, Eldon E.
Miller, David J.
Title Deciphering the nature of the coral-Chromera association
Formatted title
Deciphering the nature of the coral-Chromera association
Journal name The ISME Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1751-7370
1751-7362
Publication date 2018-01-10
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/s41396-017-0005-9
Open Access Status DOI
Total pages 15
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Abstract Since the discovery of Chromera velia as a novel coral-associated microalga, this organism has attracted interest because of its unique evolutionary position between the photosynthetic dinoflagellates and the parasitic apicomplexans. The nature of the relationship between Chromera and its coral host is controversial. Is it a mutualism, from which both participants benefit, a parasitic relationship, or a chance association? To better understand the interaction, larvae of the common Indo-Pacific reef-building coral Acropora digitifera were experimentally infected with Chromera, and the impact on the host transcriptome was assessed at 4, 12, and 48 h post-infection using Illumina RNA-Seq technology. The transcriptomic response of the coral to Chromera was complex and implies that host immunity is strongly suppressed, and both phagosome maturation and the apoptotic machinery is modified. These responses differ markedly from those described for infection with a competent strain of the coral mutualist Symbiodinium, instead resembling those of vertebrate hosts to parasites and/or pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Consistent with ecological studies suggesting that the association may be accidental, the transcriptional response of A. digitifera larvae leads us to conclude that Chromera could be a coral parasite, commensal, or accidental bystander, but certainly not a beneficial mutualist.
Formatted abstract
Since the discovery of Chromera velia as a novel coral-associated microalga, this organism has attracted interest because of its unique evolutionary position between the photosynthetic dinoflagellates and the parasitic apicomplexans. The nature of the relationship between Chromera and its coral host is controversial. Is it a mutualism, from which both participants benefit, a parasitic relationship, or a chance association? To better understand the interaction, larvae of the common Indo-Pacific reef-building coral Acropora digitifera were experimentally infected with Chromera, and the impact on the host transcriptome was assessed at 4, 12, and 48 h post-infection using Illumina RNA-Seq technology. The transcriptomic response of the coral to Chromera was complex and implies that host immunity is strongly suppressed, and both phagosome maturation and the apoptotic machinery is modified. These responses differ markedly from those described for infection with a competent strain of the coral mutualist Symbiodinium, instead resembling those of vertebrate hosts to parasites and/or pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Consistent with ecological studies suggesting that the association may be accidental, the transcriptional response of A. digitifera larvae leads us to conclude that Chromera could be a coral parasite, commensal, or accidental bystander, but certainly not a beneficial mutualist.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 17 Jan 2018, 12:12:12 EST