[CDHC] Announcing a New Paper on White Plague and Bacterial Diversity

Cheryl Woodley cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov
Tue Jan 13 15:44:29 EST 2009

Hi CDHC Members
I thought you may be interested in a new paper just out from fellow CDHC 
I have pasted the abstract below.

Bacterial diversity and White Plague Disease-associated community 
changes in the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata

Shinichi Sunagawa, Todd Z DeSantis, Yvette M Piceno, Eoin L Brodie, 
Michael K DeSalvo, Christian R Voolstra, Ernesto Weil, Gary L Andersen 
and Mo´nica Medina

Increasing evidence confirms the crucial role bacteria and archaea play 
within the coral holobiont,
that is, the coral host and its associated microbial community. The 
bacterial component constitutes
a community of high diversity, which appears to change in structure in 
response to disease events.
In this study, we highlight the limitation of 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) 
clone library sequencing as
the sole method to comprehensively describe coral-associated 
communities. This limitation was
addressed by combining a high-density 16S rRNA gene microarray with, 
clone library sequencing as
a novel approach to study bacterial communities in healthy versus 
diseased corals. We determined
an increase in diversity as well as a significant shift in community 
structure in Montastraea faveolata
colonies displaying phenotypic signs of White Plague Disease type II 
(WPD-II). An accumulation of
species that belong to families that include known coral pathogens 
Vibrionaceae), bacteria previously isolated from diseased, stressed or 
injured marine invertebrates
(for example, Rhodobacteraceae), and other species (for example, 
Campylobacteraceae) was
observed. Some of these species were also present in healthy tissue 
samples, but the putative
primary pathogen, Aurantimonas corallicida, was not detected in any 
sample by either method.
Although an ecological succession of bacteria during disease progression 
after causation by a
primary agent represents a possible explanation for our observations, we 
also discuss the
possibility that a disease of yet to be determined etiology may have 
affected M. faveolata colonies
and resulted in (or be a result of) an increase in opportunistic pathogens.

The ISME Journal advance online publication, 8 January 2009;

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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