Amplicon pyrosequencing reveals spatial and temporal consistency in diazotroph assemblages of the Acropora millepora microbiome

Lema, Kimberley A., Willis, Bette L., and Bourne, David G. (2014) Amplicon pyrosequencing reveals spatial and temporal consistency in diazotroph assemblages of the Acropora millepora microbiome. Environmental Microbiology, 16 (10). pp. 3345-3359.

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Diazotrophic bacteria potentially play an important functional role in supplying fixed nitrogen to the coral holobiont, but the value of such a partnership depends on the stability of the association. Here we evaluate the composition of diazotroph assemblages associated with the coral Acropora millepora throughout four seasons and at two reefs, an inshore and an offshore (mid-shelf) reef on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Amplicon pyrosequencing of the nifH gene revealed that diazotrophs are ubiquitous members of the bacterial community associated with A. millepora. Rhizobia (65% of the overall nifH sequences retrieved) and particularly Bradyrhizobia sp.-affiliated sequences (> 50% of rhizobia sequences) dominated diazotrophic assemblages across all coral samples from the two sites throughout the year. In contrast to this consistency in the spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence of diazotroph assemblages, the overall coral-associated bacterial community, assessed through amplicon sequencing of the general bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene, differed between inshore and mid-shelf reef locations. Sequences associated with the Oceanospirillales family, particularly with Endozoicomonas sp., dominated bacterial communities associated with inshore corals. Although rhizobia represented a variable and generally small fraction of the overall bacterial community associated with A. millepora, consistency in the structure of these diazotrophic assemblages suggests that they have a functional role in the coral holobiont.

Item ID: 36705
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1462-2920
Funders: AIMS@JCU, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Technología, Mexico (CONACYT)
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 07:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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