Imaging the uptake of nitrogen-fixing bacteria into larvae of the coral Acropora millepora

Lema, Kimberley A., Clode, Peta L., Kilburn, Matt R., Thornton, Ruth, Willis, Bette L., and Bourne, David G. (2016) Imaging the uptake of nitrogen-fixing bacteria into larvae of the coral Acropora millepora. ISME Journal, 10 (7). pp. 1804-1808.

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Diazotrophic bacteria are instrumental in generating biologically usable forms of nitrogen by converting abundant dinitrogen gas (N-2) into available forms, such as ammonium. Although nitrogen is crucial for coral growth, direct observation of associations between diazotrophs and corals has previously been elusive. We applied fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry to observe the uptake of N-15-enriched diazotrophic Vibrio sp. isolated from Acropora millepora into conspecific coral larvae. Incorporation of Vibrio sp. cells was observed in coral larvae after 4-h incubation with enriched bacteria. Uptake was restricted to the aboral epidermis of larvae, where Vibrio cells clustered in elongated aggregations. Other bacterial associates were also observed in epidermal areas in FISH analyses. Although the fate and role of these bacteria requires additional investigation, this study describes a powerful approach to further explore cell associations and nutritional pathways in the early life stages of the coral holobiont.

Item ID: 45592
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1751-7370
Funders: Australian National Network in Marine Science (ANNiMS), Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310701 Bacteriology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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