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ISME J. 2015 Oct;9(10):2261-74. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.39. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

The coral core microbiome identifies rare bacterial taxa as ubiquitous endosymbionts.

Author information

1
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
2
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, Brisbane, Australia.
3
School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
4
Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology, University of Hawai'i, Mānoa, HI, USA.
5
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
6
Department of Botany, University of Hawai'i, Mānoa, HI, USA.
7
Australian Institute for Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
8
The Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Abstract

Despite being one of the simplest metazoans, corals harbor some of the most highly diverse and abundant microbial communities. Differentiating core, symbiotic bacteria from this diverse host-associated consortium is essential for characterizing the functional contributions of bacteria but has not been possible yet. Here we characterize the coral core microbiome and demonstrate clear phylogenetic and functional divisions between the micro-scale, niche habitats within the coral host. In doing so, we discover seven distinct bacterial phylotypes that are universal to the core microbiome of coral species, separated by thousands of kilometres of oceans. The two most abundant phylotypes are co-localized specifically with the corals' endosymbiotic algae and symbiont-containing host cells. These bacterial symbioses likely facilitate the success of the dinoflagellate endosymbiosis with corals in diverse environmental regimes.

PMID:
25885563
PMCID:
PMC4579478
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2015.39
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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