Bacterial communities associated with Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS) on three western Indian Ocean (WIO) coral reefs

Abstract : The scleractinian coral Porites lutea, an important reef-building coral on western Indian Ocean reefs (WIO), is affected by a newly-reported white syndrome (WS) the Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS). Histopathology and culture-independent molecular techniques were used to characterise the microbial communities associated with this emerging disease. Microscopy showed extensive tissue fragmentation generally associated with ovoid basophilic bodies resembling bacterial aggregates. Results of 16S rRNA sequence analysis revealed a high variability between bacterial communities associated with PWPS-infected and healthy tissues in P. lutea, a pattern previously reported in other coral diseases such as black band disease (BBD), white band disease (WBD) and white plague diseases (WPD). Furthermore, substantial variations in bacterial communities were observed at the different sampling locations, suggesting that there is no strong bacterial association in Porites lutea on WIO reefs. Several sequences affiliated with potential pathogens belonging to the Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae were identified, mainly in PWPS-infected coral tissues. Among them, only two ribotypes affiliated to Shimia marina (NR043300.1) and Vibrio hepatarius (NR025575.1) were consistently found in diseased tissues from the three geographically distant sampling localities. The role of these bacterial species in PWPS needs to be tested experimentally.
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Mathieu G. Séré, Pablo Tortosa, Pascale Chabanet, Jean Turquet, Jean-Pascal Quod, et al.. Bacterial communities associated with Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS) on three western Indian Ocean (WIO) coral reefs. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (12), pp.e83746. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0083746⟩. ⟨hal-01274576⟩

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