[Coral-List] New paper on mucus sugar shaping bacterial community in coral

sonny lee sonny.lee at auckland.ac.nz
Tue Mar 29 03:54:39 EDT 2016

Dear everyone,

Please see our recent paper published in open access "Frontiers in
Microbiology" on mucus sugar shaping the bacterial community structure
in *Acropora
muricata*. On behalf of the authors I hope you find this paper interesting,
and please don't hesitate to ask any questions.


Title:  Mucus Sugar Content Shapes the Bacterial Community Structure in
Thermally Stressed *Acropora muricata*

It has been proposed that the chemical composition of a coral’s mucus can
influence the associated bacterial community. However, information on this
topic is rare, and non-existent for corals that are under thermal stress.
This study therefore compared the carbohydrate composition of mucus in the
coral *Acropora muricata* when subjected to increasing thermal stress from
26 to 31degC, and determined whether this composition correlated with any
changes in the bacterial community. Results showed that, at lower
temperatures, the main components of mucus were *N*-acetyl glucosamine and
C6 sugars, but these constituted a significantly lower proportion of the
mucus in thermally stressed corals. The change in the mucus composition
coincided with a shift from a γ-*Proteobacteria*- to a *Verrucomicrobiae-*
and *α*-*Proteobacteria*-dominated community in the coral mucus. Bacteria
in the class*Cyanobacteria* also started to become prominent in the mucus
when the coral was thermally stressed. The increase in the relative
abundance of the *Verrucomicrobiae*at higher temperature was strongly
associated with a change in the proportion of fucose, glucose, and mannose
in the mucus. Increase in the relative abundance of α-*Proteobacteria* were
associated with GalNAc and glucose, while the drop in relative abundance of
γ-*Proteobacteria* at high temperature coincided with changes in fucose and
mannose. *Cyanobacteria* were highly associated with arabinose and xylose.
Changes in mucus composition and the bacterial community in the mucus layer
occurred at 29 degC, which were prior to visual signs of coral bleaching at
31 degC. A compositional change in the coral mucus, induced by thermal
stress could therefore be a key factor leading to a shift in the associated
bacterial community. This, in turn, has the potential to impact the
physiological function of the coral holobiont.


Sonny T M Lee
PhD, University of Auckland

i: http://www.env.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/

s: sonny_lee_tm

k: i-institution, s-skype

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