Isolation of an antimicrobial compound produced by bacteria associated with reef-building corals

Raina, Jean-Baptiste, Tapiolas, Dianne, Motti, Cherie A., Foret, Sylvain, Seemann, Torsten, Tebben, Jan, Willis, Bette L., and Bourne, David G. (2016) Isolation of an antimicrobial compound produced by bacteria associated with reef-building corals. PeerJ, 4. e2275. pp. 1-20.

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Bacterial communities associated with healthy corals produce antimicrobial compounds that inhibit the colonization and growth of invasive microbes and potential pathogens. To date, however, bacteria-derived antimicrobial molecules have not been identified in reef-building corals. Here, we report the isolation of an antimicrobial compound produced by Pseudovibrio sp. P12, a common and abundant coral-associated bacterium. This strain was capable of metabolizing dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a sulfur molecule produced in high concentrations by reef-building corals and playing a role in structuring their bacterial communities. Bioassay-guided fractionation coupled with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS), identified the antimicrobial as tropodithietic acid (TDA), a sulfur-containing compound likely derived from DMSP catabolism. TDA was produced in large quantities by Pseudovibrio sp., and prevented the growth of two previously identified coral pathogens, Vibrio coralliilyticus and V. owensii, at very low concentrations (0.5 mg/mL) in agar diffusion assays. Genome sequencing of Pseudovibrio sp. P12 identified gene homologs likely involved in the metabolism of DMSP and production of TDA. These results provide additional evidence for the integral role of DMSP in structuring coral-associated bacterial communities and underline the potential of these DMSP-metabolizing microbes to contribute to coral disease prevention.

Item ID: 46124
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2167-8359
Keywords: coral-associated bacteria, disease, alphaproteobacteria, antimicrobial compounds
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This is an open access article published under a CC-BY 4.0 license.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australian Institute of Marine Science at James Cook University (AIMS@JCU)
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 07:34
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3101 Biochemistry and cell biology > 310105 Cellular interactions (incl. adhesion, matrix, cell wall) @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 80%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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