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Madeleine van Oppen

Madeleine van Oppen
The University of Melbourne & Australian Institute of Marine Science

PhD

About

581
Publications
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18,126
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Publications

Publications (581)
Article
Full-text available
The sea anemone, Exaiptasia diaphana , is a model of coral-dinoflagellate (Symbiodiniaceae) symbiosis. However, little is known of its potential to form symbiosis with Cladocopium —a key Indo-Pacific algal symbiont of scleractinian corals, nor the host nutritional consequences of such an association. Aposymbiotic anemones were inoculated with homol...
Article
The metabolic capabilities of animals have been derived from well-studied model organisms and are generally considered to be well understood. In animals, cysteine is an important amino acid thought to be exclusively synthesized through the transsulfuration pathway. Corals of the genus Acropora have lost cystathionine β-synthase, a key enzyme of the...
Article
Full-text available
Active restoration or intervention programs will be required in the future to support the resilience and adaptation of coral reef ecosystems in the face of climate change. Selective propagation of corals ex situ can help conserve keystone species and the ecosystems they underpin; cross-disciplinary research and communication between science and ind...
Chapter
The ongoing decline of coral reef ecosystems has stimulated new research to improve current coral reef conservation and restoration methods. In this book, we have focused on the potential of omics technologies to inform and improve coral reef conservation and restoration actions and to monitor the success of such initiatives. This closing chapter h...
Chapter
Coral reefs worldwide are suffering rapid deterioration as a consequence of numerous anthropogenic disturbances, with climate change being the biggest threat to these magnificent ecosystems. While it is critical that the root causes of climate change are addressed, many coral reef scientists, managers, and other stakeholders support the development...
Chapter
The rapid decline of coral reefs worldwide has led to an increased focus on conservation and restoration of these marvelous ecosystems. Conservation and restoration interventions benefit from scientific data including those that describe species distribution, ocean currents, the abiotic and biotic reef environment, and the degree of disturbance on...
Article
Full-text available
Dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae are crucial photosymbionts in corals and other marine organisms. Of these, Cladocopium goreaui is one of the most dominant symbiont species in the Indo-Pacific. Here, we present an improved genome assembly of C. goreaui combining new long-read sequence data with previously generated short-read data. Inc...
Article
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To survive in nutrient-poor waters corals rely on a symbiotic association with intracellular microalgae. However, increased sea temperatures cause algal loss—known as coral bleaching—often followed by coral death. Some of the most compelling evidence in support of the ‘oxidative stress theory of coral bleaching’ comes from studies that exposed cora...
Article
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Reef-building corals live very close to their upper thermal limits and their persistence is imperiled by a rapidly warming climate. Human interventions may be used to increase the thermal limits of sensitive corals by cross-breeding with heat-adapted populations. However, the scope of breeding interventions is constrained by regional variation in t...
Article
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Heat-tolerant strains of the coral endosymbiont, Cladocopium C1 acro (Symbiodiniaceae), have previously been developed via experimental evolution. Here, we examine physiological responses and bacterial community composition (using 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding) in cultures of 10 heat-evolved (SS) and 9 wild-type (WT) strains, which had been exposed f...
Article
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Finding coral reefs resilient to climate warming is challenging given the large spatial scale of reef ecosystems. Methods are needed to predict the location of corals with heritable tolerance to high temperatures. Here, we combine Great Barrier Reef-scale remote sensing with breeding experiments that estimate larval and juvenile coral survival unde...
Article
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The climate crisis is one of the most significant threats to marine ecosystems. It is leading to severe increases in sea surface temperatures and in the frequency and magnitude of marine heatwaves. These changing conditions are directly impacting coral reef ecosystems, which are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. Coral-associated symbio...
Article
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Coral reef restoration activity is accelerating worldwide in efforts to offset the rate of reef health declines. Many advances have already been made in restoration practices centred on coral biology (coral restoration), and particularly those that look to employ the high adaptive state and capacity of corals in order to ensure that efforts rebuild...
Article
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Aims: Fourteen percent of all living coral, equivalent to more than all the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, has died in the past decade as a result of climate change-driven bleaching. Inspired by the 'oxidative stress theory of coral bleaching,' we investigated whether a bacterial consortium designed to scavenge free radicals could integrate into...
Article
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Early life stages of most coral species acquire microalgal endosymbionts (Symbiodiniaceae) from the environment, but whether exogenous symbiont uptake is possible in the adult life stage is unclear. Deep sequencing of the Symbiodiniaceae ITS2 genetic marker has revealed novel symbionts in adult corals following bleaching; however these strains may...
Article
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Coral reefs are declining due to anthropogenic disturbances, including climate change. Therefore, improving our understanding of coral ecosystems is vital, and the influence of bacteria on coral health has attracted particular interest. However, a gnotobiotic coral model that could enhance studies of coral–bacteria interactions is absent. To addres...
Article
Full-text available
Corals are the main primary producers of coral reefs and build the three-dimensional reef structure that provides habitat to more than 25% of all marine eukaryotes. They harbor a complex consortium of microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses, and protists, which they rely on for their survival. The symbiosis between corals and ba...
Article
Anthropogenic climate change is a rapidly intensifying selection pressure on biodiversity across the globe and, particularly, on the world's coral reefs. The rate of adaptation to climate change is proportional to the amount of phenotypic variation that can be inherited by subsequent generations (i.e., narrow‐sense heritability, h2). Thus, traits t...
Article
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Strong population-by-habitat interactions across environmental gradients arise from genetic adaptation or acclimatization and represents phenotypic variation required for populations to respond to changing environmental conditions. As such, patterns of adaptation and acclimatization of reef-building corals are integral to predictions of the future...
Article
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Most of the scleractinian corals living in the photic zone form an obligate symbiosis with dinoflagellates in the family Symbiodiniaceae that promotes reef accretion and niche diversification. However, sea surface temperature surpassing the normal summer average disrupts the symbioses, resulting in coral bleaching and mortality. Under climate warmi...
Article
Coral reefs are rapidly declining because of widespread mass coral bleaching causing extensive coral mortality. Elevated seawater temperatures are the main drivers of coral bleaching, and climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of destructive marine heatwaves. Efforts to enhance coral thermal bleaching tolerance can be targeted at t...
Article
Full-text available
The algal cell wall is an important cellular component that functions in defense, nutrient utilization, signaling, adhesion, and cell‐cell recognition — processes important in the cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis. The cell wall of symbiodiniacean dinoflagellates is not well characterized. Here, we present a method to isolate cell walls of Symbiod...
Article
Full-text available
Corals are colonized by symbiotic microorganisms that profoundly influence the animal’s health. One noted symbiont is a single‐celled alga (in the dinoflagellate family Symbiodiniaceae), which provides the coral with most of its fixed carbon. Thermal stress increases the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by Symbiodiniaceae during photosyn...
Article
Full-text available
Symbiodiniaceae algae are often photosymbionts of reef-building corals. The establishment of their symbiosis resembles a microbial infection where eukaryotic pattern recognition receptors (e.g. lectins) are thought to recognize a specific range of taxon-specific microbial-associated molecular patterns (e.g. glycans). The present study used the sea...
Article
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Background Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. This success relies on the coral’s association with a wide range of microorganisms, including dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae that provide coral hosts with most of their organic carbon requirements. While bacterial associates have long been overlooke...
Article
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Coral reefs are the epitome of species diversity, yet the number of described scleractinian coral species, the framework-builders of coral reefs, remains moderate by comparison. DNA sequencing studies are rapidly challenging this notion by exposing a wealth of undescribed diversity, but the evolutionary and ecological significance of this diversity...
Article
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Novel restoration methods are currently under consideration worldwide to help coral reefs recover or become more resilient to higher temperature stress. Critical field-based information concerning the paradigm of “local is best” is lacking for many methods; information which is essential to determine the risk and feasibility associated with restora...
Article
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Corals house a variety of microorganisms which they depend on for their survival, including endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodiniaceae) and bacteria. While cnidarian–microorganism interactions are widely studied, Symbiodiniaceae–bacteria interactions are only just beginning to receive attention. Here, we describe the localization and compositio...
Article
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Marine microalgae are a diverse group of microscopic eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms capable of photosynthesis. They are important primary producers and carbon sinks but their physiology and persistence are severely affected by global climate change. Powerful experimental evolution technologies are being used to examine the potential of microa...
Article
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The global decline of coral reefs heightens the need to understand how corals may persist under changing environmental conditions. Restructuring of the coral-associated bacterial community, either through natural or assisted strategies, has been suggested as a means of adaptation to climate change. A low complexity microbial system would facilitate...
Article
Maternal effects have been well documented for offspring morphology and life history traits in plants and terrestrial animals, yet little is known about maternal effects in corals. Further, few studies have explored maternal effects in gene expression. In a previous study, F1 interspecific hybrid and purebred larvae of the coral species Acropora te...
Article
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A growing number of studies have provided insights into the diversity of coral-associated bacteria and their function in the coral holobiont. Yet, information about spatial heterogeneity of bacteria within coral colonies is limited. Using 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding, we analyzed the bacterial community composition across four distinct locations in...
Article
This review explores how microbial symbioses may have influenced and continue to influence the evolution of reef-building corals (Cnidaria; Scleractinia). The coral holobiont comprises a diverse microbiome including dinoflagellate algae (Dinophyceae; Symbiodiniaceae), bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses, but here we focus on the Symbiodiniaceae as...
Article
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Coral reefs are under threat and innovative management strategies are urgently required. However, discoveries from innovative fields of coral reef research are rarely transposed in practical conservation actions. This is mainly due to the difficulties in knowledge exchange between scientists and conservation stakeholders. The ManaCo consortium (htt...
Preprint
Full-text available
Corals are colonized by symbiotic microorganisms that exert a profound influence on the animal’s health. One noted symbiont is a single-celled alga (from the family Symbiodiniaceae ), which provides the coral with most of its fixed carbon. During thermal stress, hyperactivity of photosynthesis results in a toxic accumulation of reactive oxygen spec...
Article
Coral reefs are found in warm, oligotrophic, euphotic marine waters and occupy <0.1% of the sea floor, yet support ~25% of earth’s marine species. They provide critical ecosystem services to human populations including coastal protection, food (e.g. fish) and personal income by way of fishing and tourism. However, recent pan-tropical coral ‘bleachi...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs worldwide are suffering mass mortalities from marine heat waves. With the aim of enhancing coral bleaching tolerance, we evolved 10 clonal strains of a common coral microalgal endosymbiont at elevated temperatures (31°C) for 4 years in the laboratory. All 10 heat-evolved strains had expanded their thermal tolerance in vitro following la...
Article
Marine heat waves are increasing in magnitude, duration, and frequency as a result of climate change and are the principal global driver of mortality in reef‐building corals. Resilience‐based genetic management may increase coral heat tolerance, but it is unclear how temperature responses are regulated at the genome level and thus how corals may ad...
Article
Full-text available
Background Coral reefs have sustained damage of increasing scale and frequency due to climate change, thereby intensifying the need to elucidate corals’ biological characteristics, including their thermal tolerance and microbial symbioses. The sea anemone, Exaiptasia diaphana, has proven an ideal coral model for many studies due to its close phylog...
Article
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Coral-associated bacteria are critical for the well-being of their host and may play essential roles during ontogeny, as suggested by the vertical transmission of some bacteria in brooding corals. Bacterial acquisition patterns in broadcast spawners remain uncertain, as 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding of coral early life stages suggests the presence of...
Article
Full-text available
Small increases in ocean temperature can disrupt the obligate symbiosis between corals and dinoflagellate microalgae, resulting in coral bleaching. Little is known about the genes that drive the physiological and bleaching response of algal symbionts to elevated temperature. Moreover, many studies to‐date have compared highly divergent strains, mak...
Article
Full-text available
The sea anemone, Exaiptasia diaphana, previously known as Exaiptasia pallida or Aiptasia pallida, has become increasingly popular as a model for cnidarian-microbiome symbiosis studies due to its relatively rapid growth, ability to reproduce sexually and asexually, and symbiosis with diverse prokaryotes and the same microalgal symbionts (family Symb...
Article
Full-text available
In the face of unprecedented rates of environmental alterations, the necessity to predict the capacity of corals to respond adaptively in a complex ecological system is becoming increasingly urgent. Recent findings that bleaching-resistant Acropora millepora coral populations have high frequencies of specific alleles provide an opportunity to use s...
Article
Full-text available
Corals live in a symbiotic relationship with various microorganisms including bacteria, some of which are essential for host health and survival. Bacterial assemblages are typically highly diverse in juveniles and are speculated to exert roles critical to coral ontogenetic development. However, knowledge about bacterial dynamics in coral recruits i...
Article
Full-text available
The mutualistic symbiosis between cnidarians and photosynthetic dinoflagellates supports one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, coral reefs. Cnidarian-Symbiodiniaceae symbioses are broadly species-specific, but little is known about the mechanisms underpinning this specificity. Here, we explored the ability of three genotypes of the sea...
Article
The intimate relationship between scleractinian corals and their associated microorganisms is fundamental to healthy coral reef ecosystems. Coral‐associated microbes (Symbiodiniaceae and other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) support coral health and resilience through metabolite transfer, inter‐partner signalling, and genetic excha...
Article
Full-text available
The rate of coral reef degradation from climate change is accelerating and, as a consequence, a number of interventions to increase coral resilience and accelerate recovery are under consideration. Acropora spathulata coral colonies that survived mass bleaching in 2016 and 2017 were sourced from a bleaching-impacted and warmer northern reef on the...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Coral–dinoflagellate symbiosis underpins the evolutionary success of corals reefs. Successful exchange of molecules between the cnidarian host and the Symbiodiniaceae algae enables the mutualistic partnership. The algae translocate photosynthate to their host in exchange for nutrients and shelter. The photosynthate must traverse multiple m...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A report provided to the Australian Government by the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program
Article
Reef‐building corals form associations with a huge diversity of microorganisms, which are essential for the survival and well‐being of their host. While the acquisition patterns of Symbiodiniaceae microalgal endosymbionts are strongly linked to the coral's reproductive strategy, few studies have investigated the transmission mode of bacteria, espec...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Widespread coral bleaching, crown‐of‐thorns seastar outbreaks, and tropical storms all threaten foundational coral species of the Great Barrier Reef, with impacts differing over time and space. Yet, dispersal via larval propagules could aid reef recovery by supplying new settlers and enabling the spread of adaptive variation among regions. Docu...
Preprint
Full-text available
The sea anemone, Exaiptasia diaphana, commonly known as Exaiptasia pallida or Aiptasia pallida, has become increasingly popular as a model for cnidarian-microbiome symbiosis studies due to its relatively rapid growth, ability to reproduce sexually and asexually, and symbiosis with diverse prokaryotes and the same microalgal symbionts (family Symbio...
Article
Full-text available
The speed at which species adapt depends partly on the rates of beneficial adaptation generation and how quickly they spread within and among populations. Natural rates of adaptation of corals may not be able to keep pace with climate warming. Several interventions have been proposed to fast‐track thermal adaptation, including the intentional trans...
Article
Full-text available
The coral microbiome is known to fluctuate in response to environmental variation and has been suggested to vary seasonally. However, most studies to date, particularly studies on bacterial communities, have examined temporal variation over a time frame of less than 1 year, which is insufficient to establish if microbiome variations are indeed seas...
Article
Full-text available
Coral-associated microorganisms are essential for maintaining the health of the coral holobiont by participating in nutrient cycling and protecting the coral host from pathogens. Under stressful conditions, disruption of the coral prokaryotic microbiome is linked to increased susceptibility to diseases and mortality. Inoculation of corals with bene...
Article
Corals associate not only with dinoflagellates, which are their algal endosymbionts and which have been extensively studied over the past four decades, but also with a variety of other microorganisms. The coral microbiome includes dinoflagellates, viruses, fungi, archaea and bacteria, with knowledge of the latter growing rapidly. This Review focuse...
Article
The bacterial and microalgal endosymbiont (Symbiodiniaceae spp.) communities associated with corals have important roles in their health and resilience, yet little is known about the factors driving their succession during early coral life stages. Using 16S rRNA gene and ITS2 metabarcoding, we compared these communities in four Acropora coral speci...
Article
Full-text available
Despite being an extensively studied group of corals, the reproductive biology of the scleractinian genus Pocillopora remains a mystery. Pocillopora acuta has been proposed to exhibit a mixed reproductive mode, sexually producing gametes (sperm and eggs) and asexually brooding larvae simultaneously within a single colony. Here, we report observatio...
Article
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In the Anthropocene, in which we now live, climate change is impacting most life on Earth. Microorganisms support the existence of all higher trophic life forms. To understand how humans and other life forms on Earth (including those we are yet to discover) can withstand anthropogenic climate change, it is vital to incorporate knowledge of the micr...