Energy depletion and opportunistic microbial colonisation in white syndrome lesions from corals across the Indo-Pacific

Smith, Hillary A., Conlan, Jessica A., Pollock, F. Joseph, Wada, Naohisa, Shore, Amanda, Hung, Julia Yun-Hsuan, Aeby, Greta S., Willis, Bette L., Francis, David S., and Bourne, David G. (2020) Energy depletion and opportunistic microbial colonisation in white syndrome lesions from corals across the Indo-Pacific. Scientific Reports, 10. 19990.

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Corals are dependent upon lipids as energy reserves to mount a metabolic response to biotic and abiotic challenges. This study profiled lipids, fatty acids, and microbial communities of healthy and white syndrome (WS) diseased colonies of Acropora hyacinthus sampled from reefs in Western Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, and Palmyra Atoll. Total lipid levels varied significantly among locations, though a consistent stepwise decrease from healthy tissues from healthy colonies (HH) to healthy tissue on WS-diseased colonies (HD; i.e. preceding the lesion boundary) to diseased tissue on diseased colonies (DD; i.e. lesion front) was observed, demonstrating a reduction in energy reserves. Lipids in HH tissues were comprised of high energy lipid classes, while HD and DD tissues contained greater proportions of structural lipids. Bacterial profiling through 16S rRNA gene sequencing and histology showed no bacterial taxa linked to WS causation. However, the relative abundance of Rhodobacteraceae-affiliated sequences increased in DD tissues, suggesting opportunistic proliferation of these taxa. While the cause of WS remains inconclusive, this study demonstrates that the lipid profiles of HD tissues was more similar to DD tissues than to HH tissues, reflecting a colony-wide systemic effect and provides insight into the metabolic immune response of WS-infected Indo-Pacific corals.

Item ID: 65709
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit © The Author(s) 2020
Funders: Earthwatch Institute (EI), Mitsubishi Corporation (MC)
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2021 23:38
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 10%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3101 Biochemistry and cell biology > 310101 Analytical biochemistry @ 60%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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