This experiment assessed the natural gene expression variation present between colonies of the Indo-Pacific reef-building coral Acropora millepora, and additionally explored whether gene expression differed between two different intron haplotypes according to intron 4-500 in a carbonic anhydrase homolog. This study found no correspondence between host genotype and transcriptional state, but found significant intercolony variation, detecting 488 representing unique genes or 17% of the total genes analyzed. Such transcriptomic variation could be the basis upon which natural selection can act. Underlying variation could potentially allow reef corals to respond to different environments. Whether this source of variation and the genetic responses of corals and its symbionts will allow coral reefs to cope to the rapid pace of global change remains unknown. A. millepora colonies were brought to a common garden in the reef lagoon, i.e. under the same environmental conditions. This common garden combined with
Given the threats of greenhouse gas emissions and a changing climate to marine ecosystems, there is an urgent need to better understand the response of not only adult corals, which are particularly sensitive to environmental changes, but also their larvae, whose mechanisms of acclimation to both temperature increases and ocean acidification are not well understood. Brooded larvae from the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis collected from Nanwan Bay, Southern Taiwan, were exposed to ambient or elevated temperature (25 or 29 oC) and pCO2 (415 or 635 matm) in a factorial experiment for 9 days, and a variety of physiological and molecular parameters were measured. Respiration and rubisco protein expression decreased in larvae exposed to elevated temperature, while those incubated at high pCO2 were larger in size. Collectively, these findings highlight the complex metabolic and molecular responses of this life history stage and the need to integrate our understanding across multiple levels of ...
Maternal effects on offspring facilitated though environmental factors can provide insight to the response of organisms to global climate change. A maternal effect occurs when environmental factors affecting mothers influence offspring phenotype, independent of their genotype or the environment into which they are released. Such effects are referred to as transgenerational phenotypic plasticity. In this study we examined maternal effects induced by temperature on the larvae of the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis in Nanwan Bay, Taiwan. Specifically we tested the hypothesis that colonies exposed to high temperature displayed different reproductive traits and released dissimilar larvae compared to colonies at a lower temperature. Eight colonies were incubated for 16 d at ambient (27.13°C) and elevated (29.65°C) temperature and the outcome assessed as colony−level fecundity, timing of larval release, and energy content of larvae. Colony−level fecundity was affected significantly by ...
Seven new polyoxygenated steroids (1-7) were isolated together with seven known analogues (8-14) from the South China Sea soft coral, Sarcophyton sp. The structures of the new compounds were identified on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analysis and comparison with reported data. All the steroids are characterized with 3β,5α,6β-hydroxy moiety, displaying carbon skeletons of cholestane, ergostane, gorgostane and 23,24-dimethyl cholestane. In the in vitro bioassay, metabolites exhibited different levels of antimicrobial activity against bacterial species Escherichia coli and Bacillus megaterium, and fungal species Microbotryum violaceum and Septoria tritici. No inhibition was detected towards microalga Chlorella fusca. Preliminary structure-activity analysis suggests that the 11α-acetoxy group may increase both antibacterial and antifungal activities. The terminal-double bond and the cyclopropane moiety at the side chain may also contribute to the bioactivity.
Seven new polyoxygenated steroids (1-7) were isolated together with seven known analogues (8-14) from the South China Sea soft coral, Sarcophyton sp. The structures of the new compounds were identified on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analysis and comparison with reported data. All the steroids are characterized with 3β,5α,6β-hydroxy moiety, displaying carbon skeletons of cholestane, ergostane, gorgostane and 23,24-dimethyl cholestane. In the in vitro bioassay, metabolites exhibited different levels of antimicrobial activity against bacterial species Escherichia coli and Bacillus megaterium, and fungal species Microbotryum violaceum and Septoria tritici. No inhibition was detected towards microalga Chlorella fusca. Preliminary structure-activity analysis suggests that the 11α-acetoxy group may increase both antibacterial and antifungal activities. The terminal-double bond and the cyclopropane moiety at the side chain may also contribute to the bioactivity.
A bacterial strain, designated KTW-16T, was isolated from the reef-building coral Stylophora pistillata, collected from southern Taiwan. Strain KTW-16T was a Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, pale-yellow, non-motile short rod. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain KTW-16T belonged to the genus Paracoccus in the Alphaproteobacteria and exhibited 93.7-96.9 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with type strains of species of the genus Paracoccus (96.9 % with Paracoccus alcaliphilus JCM 7364T). Strain KTW-16T grew at 15-40 °C (optimum 35 °C), at pH 6.0-10.0 (optimum pH 8.0) and with 0-9 % NaCl (optimum 5 %). The predominant cellular fatty acids were C18 : 1ω7c, C19 : 0 cyclo ω8c and C18 : 0. The major respiratory quinone was Q-10 and the DNA G+C content was 69.1 mol%. The polar lipid profile consisted of phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and several unknown polar lipids. The physiological and biochemical tests allowed clear
Corals form the framework of the worlds coral reefs and are under threat from increases in disease and bleaching (symbiotic dysfunction), yet the mechanisms of pathogen and symbiont recognition remain largely unknown. Here we describe the isolation and characterisation of an ancient mannose-binding lectin in the coral Acropora millepora, which is likely to be involved in both processes. The lectin (Millectin) was isolated by affinity chromatography and was shown to bind to bacterial pathogens as well as coral symbionts, dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. cDNA analysis of Millectin indicate extensive sequence variation in the binding region, reflecting its ability to recognise various mannose-like carbohydrate structures on non-self cells, including symbionts and pathogens. This is the first mannose-binding lectin to show extensive sequence variability as observed for pattern recognition proteins in other invertebrate immune systems and, given that invertebrates rely on non-adaptive ...
In order to understand the effects of global climate change on reef-building corals, a thorough investigation of their physiological mechanisms of acclimatization is warranted. However, static temperature manipulations may underestimate the thermal complexity of the reefs in which many corals live. For instance, corals of Houbihu, Taiwan experience up to 10°C changes in temperature over the course of a day during spring tide upwelling events. To better understand the phenotypic plasticity of these corals, a laboratory-based experiment was conducted whereby specimens of Seriatopora hystrix (Dana, 1846) from the upwelling reef, Houbihu, and conspecifics from a non-upwelling reef (Houwan) were exposed to both a stable seawater temperature (26°C) and a regime characterized by a 6°C fluctuation (23-29°C) over a 12 hour period for seven days. A suite of physiological and molecular parameters was measured in samples of both treatments, as well as in experimental controls, in order to determine site ...
Coral tissue damage that normally heals on its own will not mend when ...UCF associate professor of biology John Fauth and scientists from the ...Scientists have long been concerned about declining coral reef health ...The loss of coral harms natural reef ecosystems and can hurt Floridas... Were losing places where animals can hide and fish can feed Fauth ...,Pollution,threatens,coral,health,by,preventing,lesions,from,healing,,UCF,study,shows,biological,biology news articles,biology news today,latest biology news,current biology news,biology newsletters
Coral bleaching and other diseases of corals have increased dramatically during the last few decades. As outbreaks of these diseases are highly correlated with increased sea-water temperature, one of the consequences of global warming will probably be mass destruction of coral reefs. The causative agent(s) of a few of these diseases have been reported: bleaching of Oculina patagonica by Vibrio shiloi; black band disease by a microbial consortium; sea-fan disease (aspergillosis) by Aspergillus sydowii; and coral white plague possibly by Sphingomonas sp. In addition, we have recently discovered that Vibrio coralyticus is the aetiological agent for bleaching the coral Pocillopora damicornis in the Red Sea. In the case of coral bleaching by V. shiloi, the major effect of increasing temperature is the expression of virulence genes by the pathogen. At high summer sea-water temperatures, V. shiloi produces an adhesin that allows it to adhere to a b- galactoside-containing receptor in the coral mucus, ...
Experiments were completed in 2010 at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA), Taiwan, using corals from the shallow fringing reefs of Nanwan Bay. To obtain larvae, colonies (ca. 20 cm diameter) of the brooding corals Pocillopora damicornis (Linnaeus 1758), Seriatopora hystrix Dana 1846 and Stylophora pistillata Esper 1797 were collected from ∼6 m depth at Hobihu Reef (21°56.799′N, 120°44.968′E), 1 week before the new moon of 15 March, when the ambient seawater temperature was 25.3°C. Eight colonies of each species were placed into individual aquaria exposed to partially shaded natural sunlight (noon irradiances of ∼500 μmol photons m-2 s-1); aquaria received sand-filtered seawater (at the ambient temperature of 25.3°C) that spilled into a cup fitted with plankton mesh to retain larvae. The corals were checked daily for larval release (at ∼07:00 h), which occurs just before dawn in these species (Fan et al., 2006), and freshly released larvae were harvested and ...
We investigated variation in transcript abundance in the scleractinian coral, Acropora millepora, within and between populations characteristically exposed to different turbidity regimes and hence different levels of light and suspended particulate matter. We examined phenotypic plasticity by comparing levels of gene expression between source populations and following 10 days of acclimatization to a laboratory environment. Analyses of variance revealed that 0.05% of genes were differentially expressed between source populations, 1.32% following translocation into a common laboratory and 0.07% in the interaction (source population-dependent responses to translocation). Functional analyses identified an over-representation of differentially expressed genes associated with metabolism and fluorescence categories (primarily downregulated), and environmental information processing (primarily upregulated) following translocation to a lower light and turbidity environment. Such metabolic downregulation ...
Lethal white syndrome (LWS), also called overo lethal white syndrome (OLWS), lethal white overo (LWO), and overo lethal white foal syndrome (OLWFS), is an autosomal genetic disorder most prevalent in the American Paint Horse. Affected foals are born after the full 11-month gestation and externally appear normal, though they have all-white or nearly all-white coats and blue eyes. However, internally, these foals have a nonfunctioning colon. Within a few hours, signs of colic appear; affected foals die within a few days. Because the death is often painful, such foals often are humanely euthanized once identified. The disease is particularly devastating because foals are born seemingly healthy after being carried to full term. The disease has a similar cause to Hirschsprungs disease in humans. A mutation in the middle of the endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB) gene causes lethal white syndrome when homozygous. Carriers, which are heterozygous-that is, have one copy of the mutated allele, but ...
Anoxia and toxic sulfide are a menace to coral tissue. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology along with Australian colleagues, have examined corals from the Great Barrier Reef affected by the Black Band Disease and identified the critical parameters that allow this prevalent disease to cause wide mortality of corals around the world. Corals infected with Black Band show a characteristic appearance of healthy tissue displaced by a dark front, the so called Black Band, which leaves the white limestone skeleton of the coral animal exposed. The dark front is commonly one to two centimeters broad and consists of a complex microbial community among which there are phototrophic cyanobacteria, sulfur oxidizing bacteria and sulfate reducing microorganisms. The corals and their endosymbiotic algae are struck by three stress factors at once: toxic sulfide, anoxia, and a low pH at the boundary of the bacterial mat and the coral tissue.. The scientists investigated the tissue ...
Coral reefs are expected to be severely impacted by rising seawater temperatures associated with climate change. This study used cDNA microarrays to investigate transcriptional effects of thermal stress in embryos of the coral Montastraea faveolata. Embryos were exposed to 27.5°C, 29.0°C, and 31.5°C directly after fertilization. Differences in gene expression were measured after 12 and 48 hours.Results: Analysis of differentially expressed genes indicated that increased temperatures may lead to oxidative stress, apoptosis, and a structural reconfiguration of the cytoskeletal network. Metabolic processes were downregulated, and the action of histones and zinc finger-containing proteins may have played a role in the long-term regulation upon heat stress.Conclusions: Embryos responded differently depending on exposure time and temperature level. Embryos showed expression of stress-related genes already at a temperature of 29.0°C, but seemed to be able to counteract the initial response over ...
Preparation of extracts: Coral samples of orange and red colonies of Montipora capitata were collected in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. Frozen samples were extracted in Millipore® water, which was replaced daily for 3 d. Extracts were filtered, lyophilized, and weighed. We tested extracts at concentrations approximating those naturally found in the coral tissues (Gochfeld & Aeby 2008). To determine the volumetric concentrations of extracts, the surface area of each piece of coral was calculated using the wax technique (Gochfeld 1991). Tissue volume was determined by multiplying surface area by tissue depth measured from replicate decalcified pieces of M. capitata. Extract concentrations were determined as g dried extract ml-1 of coral tissue. Extracts were re-suspended to these concentrations in Millipore® water for use in bacterial growth assays.. Bacterial strains tested: The strains used for our antibacterial assays were selected as model systems to represent a range of potential bacterial pathogens ...
Coral reef degradation has been observed worldwide over the past few decades resulting in significant decreases in coral cover and abundance. However, there has not been a clear framework established to address the crucial need for more sophisticated understanding of the fundamental ecology of corals and their response to environmental stressors. Development of a quantitative approach to coral population ecology that utilizes formal, well established principles of fishery systems science offers a new framework to address these issues. The goal of this dissertation is to establish a quantitative foundation for assessment of coral reefs by developing some essential ecological and population-dynamic components of a size-structured demographic model for coral populations of the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. The objective provides the potential to build a quantitative systems science framework for coral populations. A two-stage stratified random sampling design was implemented during two separate
Background Studies directed at understanding the demography and population dynamics of corals are relatively scarce. This limits our understanding of both the dynamics of coral populations and our capacity to develop management and conservation initiatives directed at conserving such ecosystems. Methods From 2012 to 2014, we collected data on the growth, survival, and recruitment rates of two common Caribbean coral species, the stress-tolerant Orbicella annularis and the weedy Porites astreoides. A set of size-based population matrix model was developed for two localities in Northeastern Puerto Rico and used to estimate population growth rates (λ) and determine the life cycle transition(s) that contribute the most to spatiotemporal differences in λs. The model was parameterized by following the fate of 100 colonies of each species at the two sites for two years. Results Our data indicate that spatial variability in vital rates of both species was higher than temporal variability. During the first year
The Trapezia Pocillopora/Acropora Crab, or Acro Crab for short, is a small commensal crustacean which lives its whole life within the branches of Pocillopora corals and Acropora Corals if no Pocilloporid corals are available, aiding in the proper water flow between the branches to keep these areas clean. In a symbiotic relationship with its host coral, the Trapezia Pocillopora/Acropora Crab is thought to feed on particulates trapped by the coral polyps, fallen detritus, and the corals secreted mucus. In turn, the crabs guard the coral from invaders and fend off predators. The importance of the Trapezia Pocillopora/Acropora Crabs role within a larger reef ecosystem is just now being recognized. Previously considered by hobbyists to be a coral "pest," the Trapezia Pocillopora/Acropora Crab may actually improve your success with SPS husbandry. Since the crabs constantly clean and defend their hosts, corals hosting Trapezia sp. have higher survival rates and stronger growth. In the home aquarium, ...
Coral reefs are declining dramatically and losing species richness, but the impact of declining biodiversity on coral well-being remains inadequately understood. Here, we demonstrate that lower coral species richness alone can suppress the growth and survivorship of multiple species of corals (Porites cylindrica, Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora millepora) under field conditions on a degraded, macroalgae-dominated reef. Our findings highlight the positive role of biodiversity in the function of coral reefs, and suggest that the loss of coral species richness may trigger negative feedback that causes further ecosystem decline.
What I have done is examine brown jelly from three affected corals: a Euphyllia ancora, a Pocillopora damicornis, and a Plerogyra sinuosa. The samples were all from different tanks, and collected many years apart. I have also sampled a brown jelly-like material from a reef coral in the Caribbean, and a sample of a brown slimy flocculent material that is relatively common on substrates in the Caribbean, usually from reefs that are not doing very well. I have not yet had a chance to examine the wild material. However, one sample of brown jelly now resides with the Registry of Coral Pathology, and the description by coral pathologist Esther Peters, confirms that there is coral tissue material, both algae and animal, within vacuoles of the protists. The necrotic condition of the coral tissue, and the fact that ciliates are not found digesting nearby corals or even healthy tissue of the affected specimen suggests they may just be opportunists of necrotic tissue rather than causative, or that they are ...
The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 360 species of hard corals including bottlebrush coral, bubble coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, staghorn coral, tabletop coral and needle coral. Hard corals, also known as stony corals, are a group of marine animals that live in shallow tropical waters and are responsible for building the structure of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals grow in various shapes and sizes such as mounds, plates and branches. As previous coral colonies die, new ones grow on top of the limestone skeletons of their predecessors. Over time, this growth creates the three-dimensional architecture of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals consist of thousands of small individal invertebrates referred to as coral polyps. Each polyp is radially symmetrical with a tube-like body that has a tentacle-rimmed mouth at the tip that it uses to feed ...
Scleractinian corals produce large amounts of calcium carbonate as they grow, sustaining the three-dimensional reef framework that supports the high productivity and biodiversity associated with tropical coral reefs. The rate of skeletal growth of corals is therefore not only essential for their fitness and ecological success, i.e. determining the ability of corals to compete for space and light, and repair structural damage caused by humans, storms, grazers and bioeroders, but can also have profound repercussions on the recovery and resilience of coral reef systems. This thesis investigates possible environmental controls of coral growth through the analyses of emergent patterns on larger spatio-temporal scales. Past growth rates and patterns in massive Porites corals sampled from around the Thai-Malay Peninsula at reef-island scales were reconstructed using sclerochronology, and examined in the context of varying climate/environment. Located within the political boundaries of Singapore, ...
Lipids are involved in a host of biochemical and physiological processes in corals. Therefore, changes in lipid composition reflect changes in the ecology, nutrition, and health of corals. As such, accurate lipid extraction, quantification, and identification is critical to obtain comprehensive insight into a corals condition. However, discrepancies exist in sample preparation methodology globally, and it is currently unknown whether these techniques generate analogous results. This study compared the two most common sample preparation techniques for lipid analysis in corals: (1) tissue isolation by air-spraying and (2) crushing the coral in toto. Samples derived from each preparation technique were subsequently analysed to quantify lipids and their constituent classes and fatty acids in four common, scleractinian coral species representing three distinct morphotypes (Acropora millepora, Montipora crassotuberculata, Porites cylindrica, and Pocillopora damicornis). Results revealed substantial amounts
The black band disease (BBD) microbial consortium often causes mortality of reef-building corals. Microbial chemical interactions (i.e., quorum sensing (QS) and antimicrobial production) may be involved in the BBD disease process. Culture filtrates (CFs) from over 150 bacterial isolates from BBD and the surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML) of healthy and diseased corals were screened for acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) and Autoinducer-2 (AI-2) QS signals using bacterial reporter strains. AHLs were detected in all BBD mat samples and nine CFs. More than half of the CFs (~55%) tested positive for AI-2. Approximately 27% of growth challenges conducted among 19 isolates showed significant growth inhibition. These findings demonstrate that QS is actively occurring within the BBD microbial mat and that culturable bacteria from BBD and the coral SML are able to produce QS signals and antimicrobial compounds. This is the first study to identify AHL production in association with active coral disease.
Longevity and competence were studied in planulae of several species of Red Sea soft corals, including the zooxanthellate planulae of Litophyton arboreum, Nephthea sp. and Xenia umbellata, and the azooxanthellate planulae of Parerythropodium fulvum fulvum and Dendronephthya hemprichi. The relationship between presence of zooxanthellae in the planulae and their competence, longevity and caloric content was examined. Planulae of X. umbellata and D. hemprichi had the longest competency of 76 and 74 d, respectively, planulae of P. f. fulvum were competent for a maximal period of 64 d, and planulae of L. arboreum and Nephthea sp. showed a similar competency of 57 d. The highest longevity of 155 d was found in planulae of X. umbellata. Planulae of P. f. fulvum, D. hemprichi and L. arboreum had maximum longevities of 76, 81 and 92 d, respectively. No significant differences existed between the competence or longevity of the zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate planulae. The ratio of the maximum values of ...
The Branched Montipora Coral is a small polyp stony (SPS) coral often referred to as Velvet Branch, or Velvet Finger Coral. This branching coral comes in a variety of colors and is a fast growing species. The form that the coral takes in its growth will be highly variable depending on the lighting, water movement and placement within the aquarium. However, it will typically maintain its branched form in most aquariums. When the polyps are expanded, the coral has a very fuzzy appearance, with smooth growth tips adding to its overall appeal. The Branched Montipora Coral is peaceful and can be placed in close proximity to other similar peaceful corals in the reef aquarium. It is a relatively hardy coral and requires just a moderate amount of care when housed in a mature reef aquarium. It will require medium to high lighting combined with a medium water movement within the aquarium. For continued good health, it will also require the addition of calcium, strontium, and other trace elements to the ...
Based on Tsounis and Edmunds (In press), Ecosphere: Community structure was characterized for four assemblage constructs that employed annual means for dependent variables (cover or abundance). First, the scleractinian-focused assemblage was quantified using the percentage cover of scleractinians (pooled among taxa), macroalgae, and CTB. Second, the octocoral-focused assemblage was quantified using octocoral abundance (pooled among taxa) together with cover of macroalgae, and CTB. Third, the octocoral genus assemblage focused on octocoral abundance resolved to genus, or unknowns. Fourth, a complete assemblage was used, containing scleractinians (all taxa), octocorals (abundance by genus), macroalgae and CTB. Data for each benthic group were presented untransformed as means +/- SE by year on scatterplots.. All analyses of scleractinian-focused, octocoral-focused, octocoral genera, and complete assemblages were based on resemblance matrices using Bray-Curtis similarities. Data for the ...
White pox disease (also "acroporid serratiosis" and "patchy necrosis"), first noted in 1996 on coral reefs near the Florida keys, is a coral disease affecting Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) throughout the Caribbean. It causes irregular white patches or blotches on the coral that result from the loss of coral tissue. These patches distinguish white pox disease from white band disease which produces a distinctive white band where the coral skeleton has been denuded. The blotches caused by this disease are also clearly differentiated from coral bleaching and scars caused by coral-eating snails. It is very contagious, spreading to nearby coral. At the locations where white pox disease has been observed, it is estimated to have reduced the living tissue in elkhorn corals by 50-80%. In the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), the losses of living coral are estimated to average around 88%. Elkhorn coral was formerly the dominant shallow water reef-building coral throughout the Caribbean ...
Several denialists have sort to deliberately confuse the readership over the important evidence gathered by Death et al. (2009) on slowing coral calcification on the Great Barrier Reef. Given the recent resurgence in this misinformation, I thought it would be a good idea to post Dr Glenn Death, Dr Janice M. Lough and Dr Katharina E. Fabriciuss recent reply to Dr Peter Ridds confused and misleading claims. The maintenance of coral calcification rates is critical for the future of coral reefs and it is, therefore, important to identify spatial patterns and temporal trends in the rates of coral calcification. Our recent report showed that substantial declines in coral calcification have occurred on the Great Barrier Reef in the last 20 years (Death et al., 2009), and similar reports are now emerging from other parts of the world (Tanzil et al., 2009). Ridd et al. here suggest that (1) ontogenetic effects, and (2) the last data points at the end of the recent cores, largely explain the ~14% ...
Several denialists have sort to deliberately confuse the readership over the important evidence gathered by Death et al. (2009) on slowing coral calcification on the Great Barrier Reef. Given the recent resurgence in this misinformation, I thought it would be a good idea to post Dr Glenn Death, Dr Janice M. Lough and Dr Katharina E. Fabriciuss recent reply to Dr Peter Ridds confused and misleading claims. The maintenance of coral calcification rates is critical for the future of coral reefs and it is, therefore, important to identify spatial patterns and temporal trends in the rates of coral calcification. Our recent report showed that substantial declines in coral calcification have occurred on the Great Barrier Reef in the last 20 years (Death et al., 2009), and similar reports are now emerging from other parts of the world (Tanzil et al., 2009). Ridd et al. here suggest that (1) ontogenetic effects, and (2) the last data points at the end of the recent cores, largely explain the ~14% ...
Introgressive hybridization is described in several phylogenetic studies of mass-spawning corals. However, the prevalence of this process among brooding coral species is unclear. We used a mitochondrial (mtDNA: nad5) and two nuclear (nDNA: ATPSα and SRP54) intron markers to explore species barriers in the coral genus Madracis and address the role of hybridization in brooding systems. Specimens of six Caribbean Madracis morphospecies were collected from 5 to 60 m depth at Buoy One, Curaçao, supplemented by samples from Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago and Bermuda. Polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis were coupled to detect distinct alleles within single colonies. The recurrent nDNA phylogenetic non-monophyly among taxa is only challenged by Madracis senaria, the single monophyletic species within the genus. nDNA AMOVAs indicated overall statistical divergence (0.1% significance level) among species but pairwise comparisons of genetic differentiation revealed some gene ...
A new guide from MPAConnect, a partnership between GCFI and NOAA Coral Program, seeks to help Caribbean marine natural resource managers who are responsible for priority coral reef marine protected areas to be on the alert for this disease and to detect whether it is occurring on their coral reefs.. Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease spreads rapidly and affects some of the slowest-growing and longest-lived reef-building corals, including the iconic brain corals, star corals and pillar corals. Scientists are uncertain about the cause of the disease, but it appears to be water-borne and can be spread by contact.. This disease is now appearing in parts of the Caribbean, including Mexico, Jamaica and the US Virgin Islands, and it is also suspected in some other locations. Early detection of the disease and its correct identification are important to permit actions to monitor, treat and restore affected coral reefs.. Through this new infographic were making the latest knowledge about this emerging ...
Lophelia.org is a comprehensive cold-water coral resource, collating information on the deep-sea, cold-water coral ecosystems, biodiversity and key species. The site features a large kids zone and free cold-water coral and deep-sea screen savers.
Corals are an invaluable part of the marine ecosystem, fostering biodiversity and protecting coastlines. But theyre also increasingly endangered. Pathogenic bacteria, along with pollution and harmful fishing practices, are one of the biggest threats to the worlds coral populations today.. One of the solutions to the crisis may lie in human medicine. Prof. Eugene Rosenberg of Tel Aviv Universitys Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, working in collaboration with Dr. Ilil Atad of his own laboratory and Prof. Yossi Loya of TAUs Department of Zoology, has developed a treatment for coral infected by Thalassomonas loyana, otherwise known as White Plague disease. This deadly bacterium infects 9 percent of Favia favus corals on the Eilat coral reef in the Red Sea and readily transmits the disease to nearby healthy corals.. Their treatment uses viruses that infect bacteria by injecting genetic material into the bacteria, a therapy originally developed to treat bacterial infections ...
Bacterial and ciliate assemblages associated with aquarium corals displaying white syndrome (WS) and brown jelly syndrome (BJS) were investigated. Healthy (n = 10) and diseased corals (WS n = 18; BJS n = 3) were analysed for 16S rRNA gene bacterial diversity, total bacterial abundance and vibrio-specific 16S rRNA gene abundance. This was conducted alongside analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequencing targeting ciliates, a group of organisms largely overlooked for their potential as causal agents of coral disease. Despite significant differences between healthy and diseased corals in their 16S rRNA gene bacterial diversity, total bacterial abundance and vibrio-specific rRNA gene abundance, no dominant bacterial ribotypes were found consistently within the diseased samples. In contrast, one ciliate morphotype, named Morph 3 in this study (GenBank Accession Numbers JF831358 for the ciliate isolated from WS and JF831359 for the ciliate isolated from BJS) was observed to burrow into and underneath the coral ...
Diversity, distribution and genetic comparison of Archaea associated with the surface mucus of corals from three genera, namely Acanthastrea sp., Favia sp. and Fungia sp., from the Gulf of Eilat, Israel and from Heron Island, Australia were studied. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene of the coral-associated Archaea revealed dominance of Crenarchaeota (79%, on average). In this phylum, 87% of the sequences were similar (,or= 97%) to the Thermoprotei, with 76% of these being similar (,or= 97%) to the ammonium oxidizer, Nitrosopumilus maritimus. Most of the coral-associated euryarchaeotal sequences (69%) were related to marine group II, while other euryarchaeotal clades were found to be related to anaerobic methanotrophs (8%), anaerobic nitrate reducers (i.e. denitrification, 15%) and marine group III (8%). Most of the crenarchaeotal and euryarchaeotal coral-associated 16S rRNA gene sequences from Heron Island (61%) and from the Gulf of Eilat (71%) were closely related (,or= 97%) to sequences ...
Victoria University of Wellington Viruses are a ubiquitous component of coral reef ecosystems, with several viral types, from at least seven prokaryotic and 20 eukaryotic virus families currently characterised from the surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML), coral tissue and the water column. However, little is known about the ecology and function of these viruses. For example, what are the environmental drivers of viral abundance and diversity on coral reefs? In this study, the abundance and distribution of virus-like particles (VLPs) associated with the SML and reef water of the coral Montipora capitata were determined using epifluorescence microscopy, while transmission electron microscopy was employed to determine the morphological diversity of VLPs. Sampling was conducted across the Coconut Island Marine Reserve (CIMR) reef system, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Viral abundance was correlated with select environmental drivers and prokaryote abundance, while non-metric multidimensional ...
Bayer, F. M. 1956. Octocorallia. Pp. F166-F230 in: R. C. Moore (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology Part F: Coelenterata. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.. Bayer, F. M., M. Grasshoff, and J. Verseveldt. 1983. Illustrated trilingual glossary of morphological and anatomical terms applied to Octocorallia. E. J. Brill / Dr. W.Backhuys, Leiden. 75 pp.. Berntson, E. A., S. C. France, and L. S. Mullineaux. 1999. Phylogenetic relationships within the Class Anthozoa (Phylum Cnidaria) based on nuclear 18S rDNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 13: 417-433.. Bridge, D., C. W. Cunningham, R. deSalle, and L. W. Buss. 1995. Class-level relationships in the phylum Cnidaria: Molecular and morphological evidence. Molecular Biology and Evolution 12: 679-689.. Chen, C. A., D. M. Odorico, M. ten Lohuis, J. E. N. Veron, and D. J. Miller. 1995. Systematic relationships within the Anthozoa (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) using the 5-end of the 28S rDNA. Molecular ...
Single colonies of the scleractinian corals Lobophyllia corymbosa, Favites abdita, Favia matthaii, Favia stelligera, Platygyra daedalea, Leptoria phrygia, Cyphastrea serailia, Hydnophora exesa and Astreopora myriophthalma were permanently marked with buoys on the reef flat at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. Portions of colonies were removed up to seven times at intervals of two or three months. Aqueous extracts of the colony portions were assayed using six bioassay regimes namely, toxicity to mice, toxicity to a coral and a hydroid, cytolytic activity on sheep erythrocytes and sea urchin ova and for antimicrobial activity on eight bacterial species. The incidence of one type of bioactivity in an extract was not correlated with the incidence of any other type of activity in that extract. Although each coral colony provided extracts that affected at least two of the bioassay systems, different activity profiles were obtained from successive extracts of each colony. Thus there is a temporal ...
Lophelia.org is a comprehensive cold-water coral resource, collating information on the deep-sea, cold-water coral ecosystems, biodiversity and key species. The site features a large kids zone and free cold-water coral and deep-sea screen savers.
FOSTER, N. L., PARIS, C. B., KOOL, J. T., BAUMS, I. B., STEVENS, J. R., SANCHEZ, J. A., BASTIDAS, C., AGUDELO, C., BUSH, P., DAY, O., FERRARI, R., GONZALEZ, P., GORE, S., GUPPY, R., McCARTNEY, M. A., McCOY, C., MENDES, J., SRINIVASAN, A., STEINER, S., VERMEIJ, M. J. A., WEIL, E. and MUMBY, P. J. (2012), Connectivity of Caribbean coral populations: complementary insights from empirical and modelled gene flow. Molecular Ecology, 21: 1143-1157. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05455.x ...
Acidification of seawater owing to oceanic uptake of atmospheric CO2 originating from human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and land-use changes has raised serious concerns regarding its adverse effects on corals and calcifying communities. Here we demonstrate a net loss of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) material as a result of decreased calcification and increased carbonate dissolution from replicated subtropical coral reef communities (n=3) incubated in continuous-flow mesocosms subject to future seawater conditions. The calcifying community was dominated by the coral Montipora capitata. Daily average community calcification or Net Ecosystem Calcification (NEC=CaCO3 production - dissolution) was positive at 3.3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 under ambient seawater pCO2 conditions as opposed to negative at −0.04 mmol CaCO3 m−2h−1 under seawater conditions of double the ambient pCO2. These experimental results provide support for the conclusion that some net calcifying communities could become
PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) provides free access to a stable and permanent online digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed health and life sciences research publications. It builds on PubMed Central (PMC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature and is a member of the broader PMC International (PMCI) network of e-repositories.
Underwater image of live coral Montastraea annularis. Note polyp tissue (green) around the mouth and base of the tentacles and zooxanthellae or symbio...
Understanding how rising seawater pCO2 and temperatures impact coral aragonite accretion is essential for predicting the future of reef ecosystems. Here we report 2 long term (10-11 month) studies assessing the effects of temperature (25 and 28°C) and both high and low seawater pCO2 (180-750 μatm) on the calcification, photosynthesis and respiration of individual massive Porites spp. genotypes. Calcification rates were highly variable between genotypes but high seawater pCO2 reduced calcification significantly in 4 of 7 genotypes cultured at 25°C but in only 1 of 4 genotypes cultured at 28°C. Increasing seawater temperature enhanced calcification in almost all corals but the magnitude of this effect was seawater pCO2 dependent. The 3°C temperature increase enhanced calcification rate on average by 3% at 180 μatm, by 35% at 260 μatm and by ,300% at 750 μatm. The rate increase at high seawater pCO2 exceeds that observed in inorganic aragonites. Responses of gross/net photosynthesis and ...
Understanding patterns of connectivity among populations of marine organisms is essential for the development of realistic, spatially explicit models of population dynamics. Two approaches, empirical genetic patterns and oceanographic dispersal modelling, have been used to estimate levels of evolutionary connectivity among marine populations but rarely have their potentially complementary insights been combined. Here, a spatially realistic Lagrangian model of larval dispersal and a theoretical genetic model are integrated with the most extensive study of gene flow in a Caribbean marine organism. The 871 genets collected from 26 sites spread over the wider Caribbean subsampled 45.8% of the 1900 potential unique genets in the model. At a coarse scale, significant consensus between modelled estimates of genetic structure and empirical genetic data for populations of the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis is observed. However, modelled and empirical data differ in their estimates of ...
Aeby, G.S., Work, T., Coles, S., and Lewis, T. 2006. Coral Disease Across the Hawaiian Archipelago. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 87(36): suppl.. Aronson, R.B. and Precht, W.F. 2001b. White-band disease and the changing face of Caribbean coral reefs. Hydrobiologia 460: 25-38.. Bruno, J.F., Selig, E.R., Casey, K.S., Page, C.A., Willis, B.L., Harvell, C.D., Sweatman, H., and Melendy, A.M. 2007. Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks. PLoS Biology 5(6): e124.. Colgan, M.W. 1987. Coral Reef Recovery on Guam (Micronesia) After Catastrophic Predation by Acanthaster Planci. Ecology 68(6): 1592-1605.. Cortes, J. and Guzman, H. 1998. Organisms from coral reefs of Costa Rica: Description, geographical distribution and natural history of Pacific zooxanthellate corals (Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Revista de Biologia Tropical 46(1): 55-92.. Fenner, D. 2003. Corals of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Conservation International, Washington, DC.. Glynn, P.W. 1994. ...
In the Caribbean, a large number of coral colonies on which this alga was transplanted developed white plague whereas unexposed colonies did not. In addition, the plant was found to be a reservoir for the marine bacterium Aurantimonas coralicida, causative agent of the disease. The spread of macroalgae on coral reefs may account for the elevated incidence of coral diseases over past decades. Moreover, measures to reduce seaweed abundance may be essential if significant coral populations are to survive on coral reefs ...
Many studies of climate variability in the Tropical Ocean have used high-resolution chemical tracer records contained in coral skeletons. The complex architecture of coral skeletons may lead to the possibility of biases in coral records and it is therefore important to access the fidelity of coral geochemical records as environmental proxies. Coral skeletal records from the same coral colony, and even the same corallite, may show large variation due to differing extension rates, formational timing of the skeletal elements, colony topography, and sampling resolution. To assess the robustness of the skeletal record, we present d13C and d18O data based on different sampling resolutions, skeletal elements, and coral colonies of Montastraea faveolata species complex, the primary coral used for climate reconstruction in the Atlantic. We show that various skeletal elements produce different isotopic records. The best sampling rate to resolve the full annual range of sea surface temperature (SST) is 40 ...