Publications

Ainsworth et al. 2015


scientific article | ISME J | open access Open access small aa108fa7f478951c693af64a05bc4b46e6711dbb69a20809512a129d4d6b870f

The coral core microbiome identifies rare bacterial taxa as ubiquitous endosymbionts

Ainsworth TD, Krause L, Bridge T, Torda G, Raina J-B, Zakrzewski M, Gates RD, Padilla-Gamiño JL, Spalding HL, Smith C, Woolsey ES, Bourne DG, Bongaerts P, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Leggat W

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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.

Research sites

10.1038   ismej.2015.39
Keywords
Meta-data
Depth range
1- 123 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
4 x (total of 5871 words)

Fields
Biodiversity Ecology Molecular ecology

Research focus
Scleractinia (Hard Corals) Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae) Bacteria and Archaea

Locations
Australia - Coral Sea Australia - Great Barrier Reef USA - Hawaii

Research platforms
Diving (unspecified) Diving - Technical Rebreather Manned Submersible
Author profiles
Tracy Ainsworth ( 2 pubs)
Pim Bongaerts ( 25 pubs)
Tom (Thomas) Bridge ( 19 pubs)
Bill Leggat ( 2 pubs)
Heather Spalding ( 11 pubs)