Bacterial communities inhabiting the healthy tissues of two Caribbean reef corals

Interspecific and spatial variation

James Klaus, Jorge Frias-Lopez, George T. Bonheyo, Jeffrey M. Heikoop, Bruce W. Fouke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bacterial communities inhabiting healthy tissues of the reef-building corals Diploria strigosa and Montastraea annularis were evaluated across a human-induced environmental gradient along the southern coast of Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. Variations in bacterial communities inhabiting coral tissues were determined using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) of 16S rRNA genes, and the δ15N value of coral tissue was used to assess the relative amount of human contaminants at each reef locality. Bacterial communities of D. strigosa were more variable than M. annularis, but there were no systematic differences in the populations of healthy M. annularis and D. strigosa. The δ15N value of coral tissues showed as much as a 1.5‰ increase in the impacted versus the non-impacted localities. While M. annularis showed no significant variation in bacterial community structure due to local reef conditions, the bacterial communities of D. strigosa showed dramatic shifts in community structure. The most abundant bacterial taxa inhabiting D. strigosa display increased dominance at impacted localities. By linking variations in microbial communities with an understanding of variations in local environmental conditions, this study provides a means of assessing potential factors that may impact the microbial habitat of coral tissues as well as overall reef health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalCoral Reefs
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

interspecific variation
bacterial communities
coral reefs
coral reef
spatial variation
corals
coral
reefs
reef
community structure
Netherlands Antilles
environmental gradient
dominance (genetics)
microbial communities
microbial community
restriction fragment length polymorphism
polymorphism
environmental conditions
tissues
tissue

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Coral disease
  • Nitrogen isotopes
  • Pollution
  • T-RFLP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Bacterial communities inhabiting the healthy tissues of two Caribbean reef corals : Interspecific and spatial variation. / Klaus, James; Frias-Lopez, Jorge; Bonheyo, George T.; Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Fouke, Bruce W.

In: Coral Reefs, Vol. 24, No. 1, 03.2005, p. 129-137.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Klaus, James ; Frias-Lopez, Jorge ; Bonheyo, George T. ; Heikoop, Jeffrey M. ; Fouke, Bruce W. / Bacterial communities inhabiting the healthy tissues of two Caribbean reef corals : Interspecific and spatial variation. In: Coral Reefs. 2005 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 129-137.
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