[Coral-List] mini-symposium plan for the European Coral Reef Symposium

Michael Sweet M.Sweet at derby.ac.uk
Wed Feb 1 08:28:00 EST 2017

Dear Coral List

I'm planning a mini-symposium 'On the importance of the microbiome and pathobiome in coral reef organisms' which will hopefully (depending on interest) run at the European Coral Reef Symposium which, this year, will be held at Oxford, UK on December 13th-15th 2017 http://www.reefconservationuk.co.uk/ecrs-2017.html

If you would be interested in helping run this session, along with presenting can you email me at m.sweet at derby.ac.uk<mailto:m.sweet at derby.ac.uk> so I can gauge numbers. This is by no means the final call for participants but simply an exercise to see who would be interested.

The mini-symposium is designed to cover a broad scope of research associated with any type of microbial work on any reef organism, be they healthy or diseased.

I'm looking for possible chairs for the session, along with potential 'plenary speakers' or 'key note speakers' to start the sessions. Unfortunately, I do not have any extra funding to pay for travel costs etc but if you are planning on attending and would like to be considered as a key speaker then email me an abstract in the next two weeks.

Below is a short synopsis of the idea behind this mini-symposium

Coral reefs are immensely vulnerable to environmental stressors, particularly global warming and anthropogenic activities, and the entire ecosystems persistence in the future depends on its ability to acclimatize/adapt to such stressors. If we take the building blocks of the reef for example, the coral themselves we already known that coral adaptation is highly governed by the coral holobionts genetic make-up, which comprises of coral host and its associated Symbiodinium, archaea, fungi, endolithic algae and bacterial community, where some of those microorganisms are host-specific. The sum of all associated microorganisms, defined as the "microbiome", provides distinct physio-chemical properties and plays vital roles in corals health and its resistance towards environmental stressors. Despite this, some microbes influence coral health negatively causing diseases and/or increase coral susceptibility. Therefore, a more recent term "pathobiome" has emerged, taking this one step further and focusing on diseases in host organisms. The "pathobiome" breaks down the concept of "one pathogen = one disease" and highlights the role of the microbiome, more specifically certain members within the microbiome, in causing pathogenesis. Bridging the previous technical limitations, the development of next generation sequencing (NGS) has allowed describing the microbial communities of many organisms at very high resolution, and the field of coral biology is no exception. The current trend of coral research is taking advantage of NGS to investigate the microbial community structure and its response to environmental stressors as well as functional role of microbes and how it influences coral health. Consequently, this session is designed to showcase the current research in this area associated with any reef organism. This session therefore is targeted to any researcher who is interested in the characterization of microbial communities and/or defining certain microbial phylotypes (viruses, bacteria, ciliates, fungi and archaea) associated with any reef-building organisms. The session will gather researchers from various disciplines in the field of coral biology to share their experiences and aims to deepen the current knowledge associated with how the microbiome influences tolerance/susceptibility of any reef organism to stress events such as those associated with climate change.

Thanks in advance


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