Microbiological assessment of a disease outbreak on corals from Magnetic Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

Bourne, David (2005) Microbiological assessment of a disease outbreak on corals from Magnetic Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia). Coral Reefs, 24 (2). pp. 304-312.

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Abstract

Unusual disease lesions were observed in Montipora corals on the fringing reef of Magnetic Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) following a period of high water temperature in early January 2002. Tissue death in Montipora spp. appeared as a black layer that spread rapidly across the colony surface, though this appeared as the final phase of disease progression (with three previous disease phases now identified, S. Anthony, unpublished). Culture and molecular-based microbial analysis of this layer did not identify a likely microbial pathogen. Despite this, DNA sequencing of microbial 16S rDNA indicated a shift in the bacterial population associated with affected coral tissue. A clone library of the healthy coral sample predominantly contained sequences within the gamma-Proteobacteria. A disease coral sample representing the margin of the black lesion and healthy coral tissue was dominated by sequences, which demonstrated low sequence identity to a range of alpha-Proteobacteria, gamma-Proteobacteria and cyanobacteria. The microbes identified in the diseased Montipora spp. samples are likely to be opportunistic rather than the causative agent of the observed lesion. Studies are in progress to further characterise the ecology of this disease and describe the potential microbial pathogen(s).

Item ID: 51154
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: coral disease, microbiology, Great Barrier Reef
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 07:43
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060599 Microbiology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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