[CDHC] Pub announcement - Microbial functional structure

Cheryl Woodley Cheryl.Woodley at noaa.gov
Mon Dec 7 16:28:22 EST 2009

Hi CDHC List Members:
A fellow CDHC Member asked that I let the rest of you know about a new 
publication from their group.  Please contact the authors directly if 
you are interested in reprints.
All the Best

Environ Microbiol. <javascript:AL_get(this, 'jour', 'Environ 
Microbiol.');> 2009 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]

  Microbial functional structure of Montastraea faveolata, an important
  Caribbean reef-building coral, differs between healthy and yellow-band
  diseased colonies.

Kimes NE 
Van Nostrand JD 
Weil E 
Zhou J 
Morris PJ 

Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences Center, Medical University 
of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

A functional gene array (FGA), GeoChip 2.0, was used to assess the 
biogeochemical cycling potential of microbial communities associated 
with healthy and Caribbean yellow band diseased (YBD) Montastraea 
faveolata. Over 6700 genes were detected, providing evidence that the 
coral microbiome contains a diverse community of archaea, bacteria and 
fungi capable of fulfilling numerous functional niches. These included 
carbon, nitrogen and sulfur cycling, metal homeostasis and resistance, 
and xenobiotic contaminant degradation. A significant difference in 
functional structure was found between healthy and YBD M. faveolata 
colonies and those differences were specific to the physical niche 
examined. In the surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML), only two of 31 
functional categories investigated, cellulose degradation and 
nitrification, revealed significant differences, implying a very 
specific change in microbial functional potential. Coral tissue slurry, 
on the other hand, revealed significant changes in 10 of the 31 
categories, suggesting a more generalized shift in functional potential 
involving various aspects of nutrient cycling, metal transformations and 
contaminant degradation. This study is the first broad screening of 
functional genes in coral-associated microbial communities and provides 
insights regarding their biogeochemical cycling capacity in healthy and 
diseased states.

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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