Beneficial microorganisms for corals (BMC): proposed mechanisms for coral health and resilience

Peixoto, Raquel S., Rosado, Phillipe M., de Assis Leite, Deborah Catharine, Rosado, Alexandre S., and Bourne, David G. (2017) Beneficial microorganisms for corals (BMC): proposed mechanisms for coral health and resilience. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8. 341.

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Abstract

The symbiotic association between the coral animal and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellate partner Symbiodinium is central to the success of corals. However, an array of other microorganisms associated with coral (i.e., Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi, and viruses) have a complex and intricate role in maintaining homeostasis between corals and Symbiodinium. Corals are sensitive to shifts in the surrounding environmental conditions. One of the most widely reported responses of coral to stressful environmental conditions is bleaching. During this event, corals expel Symbiodinium cells from their gastrodermal tissues upon experiencing extended seawater temperatures above their thermal threshold. An array of other environmental stressors can also destabilize the coral microbiome, resulting in compromised health of the host, which may include disease and mortality in the worst scenario. However, the exact mechanisms by which the coral microbiome supports coral health and increases resilience are poorly understood. Earlier studies of coral microbiology proposed a coral probiotic hypothesis, wherein a dynamic relationship exists between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms, selecting for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the microbial-host relationships within the coral holobiont, along with their potential roles in maintaining coral health. We propose the term BMC (Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals) to define (specific) symbionts that promote coral health. This term and concept are analogous to the term Plant Growth Promoting Rhizosphere (PGPR), which has been widely explored and manipulated in the agricultural industry for microorganisms that inhabit the rhizosphere and directly or indirectly promote plant growth and development through the production of regulatory signals, antibiotics and nutrients. Additionally, we propose and discuss the potential mechanisms of the effects of BMC on corals, suggesting strategies for the use of this knowledge to manipulate the microbiome, reversing dysbiosis to restore and protect coral reefs. This may include developing and using BMC consortia as environmental "probiotics" to improve coral resistance after bleaching events and/or the use of BMC with other strategies such as human-assisted acclimation/adaption to shifting environmental conditions.

Item ID: 52817
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-302X
Keywords: beneficial microorganisms for corals, BMC, probiotics, symbiosis, reversing dysbiosis
Additional Information:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Funders: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) – Brazil, Fundação de Amaparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Instituto Museu Aquário Marinho do Rio de Janeiro-AquaRio (IMAM/AquaRio)
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 05:33
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 0%
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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