Novel T4 bacteriophages associated with black band disease in corals

Buerger, P., Weynberg, K.D., Wood-charlson, E.M., Sato, Y., Willis, B.L., and van Oppen, M.J.H. (2019) Novel T4 bacteriophages associated with black band disease in corals. Environmental Microbiology, 21 (6). pp. 1969-1979.

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Research into causative agents underlying coral disease have focused primarily on bacteria, whereas potential roles of viruses have been largely unaddressed. Bacteriophages may contribute to diseases through the lysogenic introduction of virulence genes into bacteria, or prevent diseases through lysis of bacterial pathogens. To identify candidate phages that may influence the pathogenicity of black band disease (BBD), communities of bacteria (16S rRNA) and T4-bacteriophages (gp23) were simultaneously profiled with amplicon sequencing among BBD-lesions and healthy-coral-tissue of Montipora hispida, as well as seawater (study site: the central Great Barrier Reef). Bacterial community compositions were distinct among BBD-lesions, healthy coral tissue and seawater samples, as observed in previous studies. Surprisingly, however, viral beta diversities based on both operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-compositions and overall viral community compositions of assigned taxa did not differ statistically between the BBD-lesions and healthy coral tissue. Nonetheless, relative abundances of three bacteriophage OTUs, affiliated to Cyanophage PRSM6 and Prochlorococcus phages P-SSM2, were significantly higher in BBD-lesions than in healthy tissue. These OTUs associated with BBD samples suggest the presence of bacteriophages that infect members of the cyanobacteria-dominated BBD community, and thus have potential roles in BBD pathogenicity.

Item ID: 60030
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1462-2920
Copyright Information: © 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Funders: AIMS@JCU, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC FT100100088, ARC Super Science Fellowship FS110200034
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 07:41
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310701 Bacteriology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
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