Coral Bleaching

Ariel Kushmaro arielk at
Wed Aug 13 02:38:24 EDT 1997

Object: Coral Bleaching

Dear coral-list members

I am working on bacterial ecology of corals and coral bleaching of corals
by bacteria. Our findings show that Vibrio AK1, previously shown to be the
causative agent of bleaching of the Mediterranean coral Oculina
patagonica, caused bleaching at 20 C, 23 C, 25  C and 29  C , but not at
16  C. This is consistent with the observation that the bleaching occurs
naturally in the summer when seawater temperature rise to 26  C and exceed
to a maximum of 29  C, and disappears during winter, when water
temperature decreases to 16  C. (Kushmaro, A., Y. Loya, M. Fine, and E.
Rosenberg. 1996. Bacterial infection and coral bleaching. Nature.  380:
396, and Kushmaro, A., E. Rosenberg,  M. Fine, and Y. Loya. 1997.
Bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica by Vibrio Ak-1. Mar. Ecol. Prog.
Ser. 147: 159-165).

In order to determine if we dealing with a vibrio infection we asking for
1. Try to streak mucous from bleached and non bleached corals on TCBS (
Difco ) plates and look for yellow colonies. (89g in 1 liter distilled
water, do not add salt)
2. send by express mail :
a.  samples of   bleached and non bleached corals.
b. Freeze-dried Samples of mucous and tissue from  bleached and non
bleached  coral in  viles .
c. The mucous streaked onto Marine Agar ( 18 g marine broth MA 2216 Difco,
9 g NaCl and 18 g Bacto agar, Difco per 1 liter of deionized water) and
TCBS plates.
Based on this we should be able to determine if we dealing with a vibrio

                                           Sincerely yours, 

A. Kushmaro            
Ariel Kushmaro
Department of Zoology
Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel 69978
arielk at
Tel: 972-3-6407683
Fax: 972-3-6407682

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