Elevated seawater temperatures have a limited impact on the coral immune response following physical damage

van De Water, Jeroen A.J.M., Leggat, William, Bourne, David G., Van Oppen, Madeleine J.H., Willis, Bette L., and Ainsworth, Tracy D. (2015) Elevated seawater temperatures have a limited impact on the coral immune response following physical damage. Hydrobiologia, 759 (1). pp. 201-214.

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Recurrent disturbances on coral reefs that cause injuries, like predation and storm damage, and elevated seawater temperatures reduce coral fitness and immunocompetence. An effective immune response is essential to prevent disease and enhance colony survival. To evaluate how elevated seawater temperatures affect the coral immune response following injury, fragments of Acropora aspera were exposed to ambient (27–29°C) or elevated (32–33.5°C) seawater temperatures for 8 days and subsequently experimentally injured. Expression patterns for 15 immune genes 24 h post-injury revealed that most genes involved in the Toll-like receptor pathway were unaffected by elevated seawater temperatures. Exceptions to this pattern were cFos and cJun, which were upregulated and likely played a role in repair processes, and TRAF-6 and NFκB, which were downregulated suggesting reduced immune function. Components of the complement system were upregulated (millectin, C3) or downregulated (Bf, Tx60, apextrin) in corals at high temperatures. However, corals that also sustained injury, showed normal Tx60 and apextrin expression, suggesting roles in the wounding response. Overall, basal expression levels of immune genes are sufficient to mount a response to injury in the short term, and the immune response of A. aspera following injury is not significantly affected by minor elevations in seawater temperatures.

Item ID: 38996
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5117
Keywords: coral, immunity, heat stress, injury, gene expression
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 00:45
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060405 Gene Expression (incl Microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 50%
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