Coral metabolite gradients affect microbial community structures and act as a disease cue

Michael A. Ochsenkühn, Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Mourad Harir, Shady Amin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Corals are threatened worldwide due to prevalence of disease and bleaching. Recent studies suggest the ability of corals to resist disease is dependent on maintaining healthy microbiomes that span coral tissues and surfaces, the holobiont. Although our understanding of the role endosymbiotic microbes play in coral health has advanced, the role surface-associated microbes and their chemical signatures play in coral health is limited. Using minimally invasive water sampling, we show that the corals Acropora and Platygyra harbor unique bacteria and metabolites at their surface, distinctly different from surrounding seawater. The surface metabolites released by the holobiont create concentration gradients at 0–5 cm away from the coral surface. These molecules are identified as chemo-attractants, antibacterials, and infochemicals, suggesting they may structure coral surface-associated microbes. Further, we detect surface-associated metabolites characteristic of healthy or white syndrome disease infected corals, a finding which may aid in describing effects of diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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Anthozoa
Metabolites
Cues
microbial communities
corals
community structure
metabolites
microorganisms
Health
Bleaching
Ports and harbors
Seawater
Aptitude
Acropora
disease prevalence
Microbiota
Bacteria
attractants
bleaching
Tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Coral metabolite gradients affect microbial community structures and act as a disease cue. / Ochsenkühn, Michael A.; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Harir, Mourad; Amin, Shady.

In: Communications Biology, Vol. 1, No. 1, 184, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ochsenkühn, Michael A. ; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe ; Harir, Mourad ; Amin, Shady. / Coral metabolite gradients affect microbial community structures and act as a disease cue. In: Communications Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 1, No. 1.
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