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J Appl Microbiol. 2009 Apr;106(4):1378-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.04106.x. Epub 2009 Jan 30.

Bacterial diversity associated with the Brazilian endemic reef coral Mussismilia braziliensis.

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1
Universidade Católica de Brasilia, Brazil.

Abstract

AIMS:

We performed the first characterization of the microbiota associated with the reef coral Mussismilia braziliensis by means of a culture-independent approach.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The main groups were Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and unclassified bacteria according to the 16S rDNA libraries. Most of the sequences of the mucus of healthy and diseased M. braziliensis did not find close matches in GenBank (i.e. >97% 16S rDNA similarity). Most of the sequences of seawater and mucus of healthy coral fell into tight clusters (17 and 15 clusters respectively). In contrast, most of the sequences of mucus of diseased coral did not form clusters. The rarefaction curves indicate saturation in the recovery of higher taxa (approximately 40 phyla). However, the number of species in the coral mucus (n = 130-170) and seawater (n = 170) did not reach a plateau.

CONCLUSIONS:

The coral microbiota encompasses several potentially novel species and higher taxa. The microbiota of M. braziliensis appears to be species-specific. Diseased coral may have provided a suitable place for colonization by opportunistic bacteria, resulting in a greater bacterial diversity.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The first study on the diversity of the microbiota of the endemic and endangered of extinction coral M. braziliensis.

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