Tissue loss on M. cavernosa (and other corals)

Yael Ben-Haim yaelll at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 25 12:48:32 EDT 2002

Hi Don,

I have been studying tissue loss (tissue lysis as we term) of stony corals
for the last few years, in relation to bacterial infection, as well as
effect of increased seawater temperatures.

We have isolated and characterized a new bacterial pathogen that is the
causative agent of tissue lysis of Pocillopora damicornis corals. The
pathogen was isolated originally from diseased corals in the Indian Ocean ,
and was reisolated, identified and tested for pathogenicity in the Red Sea
as well. It is a novel species of the genus Vibrio , named Vibrio
coralyticus.  The paper summarizing the research will be very soon published
in Marine Biology , and hopegully answer a few of your questions. The
picture of the M. cavernosa showing tissue loss, and your descriptions of
the syndromes are very similar to our cases , and it may be caused by a
similar or closely related  pathogen.

Will it be possible to view somehow the video you've filmed? Did you by any
chance recorded the sea temperature, when you saw the lysing corals?

Hope this helps,


Yael Ben-Haim
Dept. of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Tel Aviv University
Tel: (972) 3 6407627
Fax: (972) 3 6429377
e-mail: yaelbh at post.tau.ac.il

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