Characterization of Geographically Distinct Bacterial Communities Associated with Coral Mucus Produced by Acropora spp. and Porites spp.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.67). 05/2012; 78(15):5229-37. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.07764-11
Source: PubMed


Acropora and Porites corals are important reef builders in the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean. Bacteria associated with mucus produced by Porites spp. and Acropora spp. from Caribbean (Punta Maroma, Mexico) and Indo-Pacific (Hoga and Sampela, Indonesia) reefs were determined. Analysis
of pyrosequencing libraries showed that bacterial communities from Caribbean corals were significantly more diverse (H′, 3.18
to 4.25) than their Indonesian counterparts (H′, 2.54 to 3.25). Dominant taxa were Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Cyanobacteria, which varied in relative abundance between coral genera and region. Distinct coral host-specific communities were also found;
for example, Clostridiales were dominant on Acropora spp. (at Hoga and the Mexican Caribbean) compared to Porites spp. and seawater. Within the Gammproteobacteria, Halomonas spp. dominated sequence libraries from Porites spp. (49%) and Acropora spp. (5.6%) from the Mexican Caribbean, compared to the corresponding Indonesian coral libraries (<2%). Interestingly, with
the exception of Porites spp. from the Mexican Caribbean, there was also a ubiquity of Psychrobacter spp., which dominated Acropora and Porites libraries from Indonesia and Acropora libraries from the Caribbean. In conclusion, there was a dominance of Halomonas spp. (associated with Acropora and Porites [Mexican Caribbean]), Firmicutes (associated with Acropora [Mexican Caribbean] and with Acropora and Porites [Hoga]), and Cyanobacteria (associated with Acropora and Porites [Hoga] and Porites [Sampela]). This is also the first report describing geographically distinct Psychrobacter spp. associated with coral mucus. In addition, the predominance of Clostridiales associated with Acropora spp. provided additional evidence for coral host-specific microorganisms.

Download full-text


Available from: Leanne J. Hepburn, May 28, 2014
  • Source
    • "Recent advances in next-generation sequencing techniques have allowed largeale exploration of taxonomic diversity and geographic distribution of marine microbes (Sunagawa et al., 2010; Chen et al., 2011; Emami et al., 2012). High-throughput pyrosequencing techniques for phylogenetically informative marker genes, such as the ribosomal RNA gene (rRNA), have been employed to characterize the genetic diversity, community composition, relative abundance, and distribution of microbes in the ocean water masses (Li et al., 2006; Lee et al., 2012; McKew et al., 2012; Morrow et al., 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study of oceanic microbial communities is crucial for our understanding of the role of microbes in terms of biomass, diversity and ecosystem function. In this study, 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing was used to investigate change in bacterial community structure between summer and winter water masses from Gosung Bay in the South Sea of Korea and Chuuk in Micronesia, located in the North and South Pacific Oceans, respectively. Summer and winter sampling from each water mass revealed highly diverse bacterial communities, containing ~900 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). The microbial distribution and highly heterogeneous composition observed at both sampling sites were different from those of most macroorganisms. The bacterial communities in the seawater at both sites were most abundant in Proteobacteria during the summer in Gosung and in Bacterioidetes during the winter. The proportion of Cyanobacteria was higher in summer than in winter in Chuuk and similar in Gosung. Additionally, the microbial community during summer in Gosung was significantly different from other communities observed based on the unweighted UniFrac distance. These data suggest that in both oceanic areas sampled, the bacterial communities had distinct distribution patterns with spatially- and temporally-heterogeneous distributions.
    The Journal of Microbiology 10/2014; 52(10):834-841. DOI:10.1007/s12275-014-4287-6 · 1.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "For example, the development of high-throughput pyrosequencing technology allows for the detection of rare taxa which serve as a reservoir of functional diversity and potentially becoming dominant against environmental conditions. This sequencing technology has been employed to investigate the genetic diversity, community composition, relative abundance, and distribution of microbes in the ocean water masses (Lee et al. 2012; Li et al. 2013; Mckew et al. 2012; Marrow et al. 2012). On the other hand, the oceans posses enormous biodiversity in terrestrial terms, however, taxonomically, much of this is still poorly described taxonomically. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Understanding the patterns of microbial diversity and their composition in seawater is necessary to assess the impacts of microbes on marine ecosystem. Although the potential roles of microbes in the ocean have been studied, their diversity and relationship with environmental factors remain unclear. In this study, we adopted a 16S rRNA gene tag-pyrosequencing technique to investigate the bacterial communities associated with two different water masses from Tongyoung in the South Sea of Korea. Our results revealed highly diverse bacterial communities up to 900 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) estimated from each seawater which was collected in the month of March and May, when the environmental conditions including temperature differed significantly: 7.2°C and 17.6°C in March and May, respectively. Altogether, 13 bacterial phyla were recovered from the seawater, of which Proteobacteria was the most dominant group. In addition, the value of the Shannon index, which measures the evenness of the distribution of individuals among OTUs, in May is higher than that in March, indicating that it displays a wider diversity of bacteria. Interestingly, the proportion of pathogenic bacteria was significantly increased in the month of May compared to March, suggesting that pathogenic bacteria were increasingly emerging in May. In particular, Pseudoalteromonas and Vibrio spp. were determined as major pathogenic bacteria from both water masses, of which Vibrio spp. were dominant.
    Ocean Science Journal 09/2014; 49(3):193-200. DOI:10.1007/s12601-014-0019-4 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The functional role of the bacterial organisms in the reef ecosystem and their contribution to the coral well-being remain largely unclear. The first step in addressing this gap of knowledge relies on in-depth characterization of the coral microbial community and its changes in diversity across coral species, space and time. In this study, we focused on the exploration of microbial community assemblages associated with an ecologically important Caribbean scleractinian coral, Porites astreoides, using Illumina high-throughput sequencing of the V5 fragment of 16S rRNA gene. We collected data from a large set of biological replicates, allowing us to detect patterns of geographical structure and resolve co-occurrence patterns using network analyses. The taxonomic analysis of the resolved diversity showed consistent and dominant presence of two OTUs affiliated with the order Oceanospirillales, which corroborates a specific pattern of bacterial association emerging for this coral species and for many other corals within the genus Porites. We argue that this specific association might indicate a symbiotic association with the adult coral partner. Furthermore, we identified a highly diverse rare bacterial 'biosphere' (725 OTUs) also living along with the dominant bacterial symbionts, but the assemblage of this biosphere is significantly structured along the geographical scale. We further discuss that some of these rare bacterial members show significant association with other members of the community reflecting the complexity of the networked consortia within the coral holobiont.
    Molecular Ecology 07/2013; 22(16). DOI:10.1111/mec.12392 · 6.49 Impact Factor
Show more