Cultured Bacteria Provide Insight into the Functional Potential of the Coral-Associated Microbiome

Li, Jie, Zou, Yiyang, Yang, Jian, Li, Qiqi, Bourne, David G., Sweet, Michael, Liu, Cong, Guo, Anjie, and Zhang, Si (2022) Cultured Bacteria Provide Insight into the Functional Potential of the Coral-Associated Microbiome. mSystems, 7 (4). e00327-22.

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Improving the availability of representative isolates from the coral microbiome is essential for investigating symbiotic mechanisms and applying beneficial microorganisms to improve coral health. However, few studies have explored the diversity of bacteria which can be isolated from a single species. Here, we isolated a total of 395 bacterial strains affiliated with 49 families across nine classes from the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Identification results showed that most of the strains represent potential novel bacterial species or genera. We also sequenced and assembled the genomes of 118 of these isolates, and then the putative functions of these isolates were identified based on genetic signatures derived from the genomes and this information was combined with isolate-specific phenotypic data. Genomic information derived from the isolates identified putative functions including nitrification and denitrification, dimethylsulfoniopropionate transformation, and supply of fixed carbon, amino acids, and B vitamins which may support their eukaryotic partners. Furthermore, the isolates contained genes associated with chemotaxis, biofilm formation, quorum sensing, membrane transport, signal transduction, and eukaryote-like repeat-containing and cell-cell attachment proteins, all of which potentially help the bacterium establish association with the coral host. Our work expands on the existing culture collection of coral-associated bacteria and provides important information on the metabolic potential of these isolates which can be used to refine understanding of the role of bacteria in coral health and are now available to be applied to novel strategies aimed at improving coral resilience through microbiome manipulation. IMPORTANCE Microbes underpin the health of corals which are the building blocks of diverse and productive reef ecosystems. Studying the culturable fraction of coral-associated bacteria has received less attention in recent times than using culture-independent molecular methods. However, the genomic and phenotypic characterization of isolated strains allows assessment of their functional role in underpinning coral health and identification of beneficial microbes for microbiome manipulation. Here, we isolated 395 bacterial strains from tissues of Pocillopora damicornis with many representing potentially novel taxa and therefore providing a significant contribution to coral microbiology through greatly enlarging the existing cultured coral-associated bacterial bank Through analysis of the genomes obtained in this study for the coral-associated bacteria and coral host, we elucidate putative metabolic linkages and symbiotic establishment. The results of this study will help to elucidate the role of specific isolates in coral health and provide beneficial microbes for efforts aimed at improving coral health.

Item ID: 75365
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2379-5077
Keywords: coral-associated bacteria, culture collection, novel taxon, genome sequencing, metabolic potential, coral-bacterium symbiosis
Copyright Information: © 2022 Li et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2022 08:48
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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