Changes in sulfate-reducing bacterial populations during the onset of black band disease

Bourne, David G, Muirhead, Andrew, and Sato, Yui (2011) Changes in sulfate-reducing bacterial populations during the onset of black band disease. ISME Journal: multidisciplinary journal of microbial ecology, 5 (3). 559- 564.

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Factors that facilitate the onset of black band disease (BBD) of corals remain elusive, though anoxic conditions under the complex microbial mat and production of sulfide are implicated in necrosis of underlying coral tissues. This study investigated the diversity and quantitative shifts of sulfate-reducing bacterial (SRB) populations during the onset of BBD using real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and cloning approaches targeting the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase (dsrA) gene. A quantitativePCR (qPCR) assay targeting the 16S rRNA gene also provided an estimate of total bacteria, and allowed the relative percentage of SRB within the lesions to be determined. Three Montipora sp. coral colonies identified with lesions previously termed cyanobacterial patches (CPs) (comprising microbial communities unlike those of BBD lesions), were tagged and followed through time as CP developed into BBD. The dsrA-targeted qPCR detected few copies of the gene in the CP samples (<65 per ng DNA), though copy numbers increased in BBD lesions (>2500 per ng DNA). SRB in CP samples were less than 1% of the bacterial population, though represented up to 7.5% of the BBD population. Clone libraries also demonstrated a shift in the dominant dsrA sequences as lesions shifted from CP into BBD. Results from this study confirm that SRB increase during the onset of BBD, likely increasing sulfide concentrations at the base of the microbial mat and facilitating the pathogenesis of BBD.

Item ID: 11961
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1751-7370
Keywords: coral disease; black band disease; dissimilatory sulfite reductase gene (dsrA); quantitative PCR
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2010 23:57
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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