[CDHC] new publication on black band

Cheryl Woodley cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov
Sun Jul 8 10:41:14 EDT 2007

*Environmental Microbiology (2007) 9(8), 1995–2006

Characterization of black band disease in Red Sea stony corals*
Orit Barneah, Eitan Ben-Dov, Esti Kramarsky-Winter and Ariel Kushmaro

Microbial communities associated with black band disease (BBD) in 
massive stony corals from the
Northern Red Sea (Eilat) were examined for the first time using 
molecular tools and microscopy. A high
microbial diversity was revealed in the affected tissue in comparison 
with the healthy area of the same
colony. Microscopy revealed the penetration of cyanobacteria into the 
coral mesoglea and adjacent
tissues. Cyanobacterial sequences from Red Sea BBD-affected corals 
formed a cluster with sequences
previously identified from black band and red band diseased corals from 
the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean.
In addition, 11 sequences belonging to the genus Vibrio were retrieved. 
This group was previously
documented as pathogenic to corals. Sulfate reducing bacteria, a group 
known to be associated
with BBD and produce toxic sulfide, were studied using specific primers 
for the amplification of the
dissimilatory sulfite reductase gene (dsrA). This technique facilitated 
and improved the resolution of the
study of diversity of this group. All the sequences obtained were 
closely related to sequences of the
genus Desulfovibrio and 46% showed high homology to Desulfovibrio 
desulfuricans. The complex nature of
BBD and the lack of success in isolating a single causative agent 
suggest that BBD may be considered
a polymicrobial disease.

Cheryl Woodley, Ph.D.
Coral Health and Disease Program

Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research
Hollings Marine Laboratory
331 Fort Johnson Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
843.762.8862 Phone
843.762.8737 Fax
cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov

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