High-resolution spatial and genomic characterization of coral-associated microbial aggregates in the coral Stylophora pistillata

Wada, Naohisa, Hsu, Ming-Tsung, Tandon, Kshitij, Hsiao, Silver Sung-Yun, Chen, Hsing-Ju, Chen, Yu-Hsiang, Chiang, Pei-Wen, Yu, Sheng-Ping, Lu, Chih-Ying, Chiou, Yu-Jing, Tu, Yung-Chi, Tian, Xuejiao, Chen, Bi-Chang, Lee, Der-Chuen, Yamashiro, Hideyuki, Bourne, David G., and Tang, Sen-lin (2022) High-resolution spatial and genomic characterization of coral-associated microbial aggregates in the coral Stylophora pistillata. Science Advances, 8 (27). eabo2431.

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Bacteria commonly form aggregates in a range of coral species [termed coral-associated microbial aggregates (CAMAs)], although these structures remain poorly characterized despite extensive efforts studying the coral microbiome. Here, we comprehensively characterize CAMAs associated with Stylophora pistillata and quantify their cell abundance. Our analysis reveals that multiple Endozoicomonas phylotypes coexist inside a single CAMA. Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry imaging revealed that the Endozoicomonas cells were enriched with phosphorus, with the elemental compositions of CAMAs different from coral tissues and endosymbiotic Symbiodiniaceae, highlighting a role in sequestering and cycling phosphate between coral holobiont partners. Consensus metagenome--assembled genomes of the two dominant Endozoicomonas phylotypes confirmed their metabolic potential for polyphosphate accumulation along with genomic signatures including type VI secretion systems allowing host association. Our findings provide unprecedented insights into Endozoicomonas-dominated CAMAs and the first direct physiological and genomic linked evidence of their biological role in the coral holobiont.

Item ID: 75628
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2375-2548
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S.Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2022 09:06
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences @ 100%
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