Biogeochemical conditions determine virulence of black band disease in corals

Glas, Martin S, Sato, Yui, Ulstrup, Karin E and Bourne, David G (2012) Biogeochemical conditions determine virulence of black band disease in corals The ISME Journal, 6 (8). pp. 1526-1534. DOI 10.1038/ismej.2012.2.

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Supplementary data:

Abstract

The microenvironmental dynamics of the microbial mat of black band disease (BBD) and its less virulent precursor, cyanobacterial patch (CP), were extensively profiled using microsensors under different light intensities with respect to O(2), pH and H(2)S. BBD mats exhibited vertical stratification into an upper phototrophic and lower anoxic and sulphidic zone. At the progression front of BBD lesions, high sulphide levels up to 4977 μM were measured in darkness along with lower than ambient levels of pH (7.43±0.20). At the base of the coral-BBD microbial mat, conditions were hypoxic or anoxic depending on light intensity exposure. In contrast, CP mats did not exhibit strong microchemical stratification with mostly supersaturated oxygen conditions throughout the mats at all light intensities and with levels of pH generally higher than in BBD. Two of three replicate CP mats were devoid of sulphide, while the third replicate showed only low levels of sulphide (up to 42 μM) present in darkness and at intermediate light levels. The level of oxygenation and sulphide correlated well with lesion migration rates, that is virulence of the mats, which were greater in BBD than in CP. The results suggest that biogeochemical microgradients of BBD shaped by the complex microbial community, rather than a defined pathogen, are the major trigger for high virulence and the associated derived coral mortality of this disease.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: BBD; CP; pathogen; microsensor; anoxia; sulphide
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/ismej.2012.2
ISSN: 1751-7362
Projects: BIOACID
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2016 12:09
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 12:09
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/32232

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