Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 146, Issue 5, pp 931–935 | Cite as

Stress-induced rapid release of antibacterials by scleractinian corals

  • Y. Geffen
  • E. Rosenberg
Research Article

Abstract

Mechanical stress on the coral Pocillopora damicornis caused the release of material that killed the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. The bactericidal material was released into the surrounding seawater rapidly, reaching a maximum killing activity within 1 min of the stress. The coral antibacterial activity, referred to as CAA, was retained following filter sterilization and storage at −20°C. Exposure of V. coralliilyticus to CAA for 30 s, 1 min and 6 min resulted in the death of 82%, 89% and 99% of the bacteria, respectively. Release of CAA following mechanical stress was also observed with four other coral species tested. P. damicornis CAA was bactericidal to a wide variety of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. This is the first report that hard corals rapidly release fast-acting bactericidal material following mechanical stress. The release of CAA was demonstrated with both aquarium corals and corals taken directly from the sea. It is suggested that CAA is part of hard corals’ host defense system against infection, the natural stimulation for release of CAAs being the bite of a predator. Previous failures to detect antibacterial activity in hard corals can be attributed to a lack of understanding of the sensitive mechanism by which they are released.

Keywords

Vibrio Hard Coral Serratia Marcescens Scleractinian Coral Coral Fragment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Y. Barash, R. Rozenberg, and O. Koren for assistance in obtaining and maintaining the corals. This research was funded by the Israel Centre for the Study of Emerging Diseases.

References

  1. Amade P, Charroin C, Baby C, Vacelet J (1987) Antimicrobial activities of marine sponges from the Mediterranean Sea. Mar Biol 94:271–275Google Scholar
  2. Anderson RM, May RM (1979) Population biology of infectious diseases. Nature 280:367Google Scholar
  3. Anderson RM, May RM (1991) Infectious diseases of humans: dynamics and control. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Banin E, Israely T, Kushmaro A, Loya L, Orr E, Rosenberg E (2000) Penetration of the coral-bleaching bacterium Vibrio shiloi into Oculina patagonica. Appl Environ Microbiol 66:3031–3036CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ben-Haim Y, Rosenberg E (2002) A novel Vibrio sp. pathogen of the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Mar Biol 141:47–55Google Scholar
  6. Ben-Haim Y, Zicherman-Keren M, Rosenberg E (2003a) Temperature-regulated bleaching and lysis of the coral Pocillopora damicornis by the novel pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:4236–4242PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ben-Haim Y, Thompson FL, Thompson CC, Cnockaert MC, Hoste B, Swings J, Rosenberg E (2003b) Vibrio coralliilyticus sp. nov., a temperature-dependent pathogen of the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Int J Syst Evol Microsc 53:309–315Google Scholar
  8. Denner EB, Smith GW, Busse HJ, Schumann P, Narzt T, Polson SW, Lubitz W, Richardson LL (2003) Aurantimonas coralicida gen. nov. sp. nov., the causative agent of white plague II on Caribbean scleractinian corals. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 53:1115–1122PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Geiser DM, Taylor JW, Ritchie KB, Smith GW (1998) Cause of sea fan death in the West Indies. Nature 394:137–138PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Green EP, Bruckner AW (2000) The significance of coral disease epizootiology for coral reef conservation. Biol Conserv 96:347–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jensen PR, Harvell CD, Wirtz K, Fenical W (1996) Antimicrobial activity of extracts of Caribbean gorgonian corals. Mar Biol 125:411–419Google Scholar
  12. Kelman D (2004) Antimicrobial activity of sponges and corals. In: Rosenberg E, Loya Y (eds) Coral health and disease. , Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 243–258Google Scholar
  13. Kelman D, Kushmaro A, Loya Y, Kashman Y, Benayahu Y (1998) Antimicrobial activity of a Red Sea soft coral, Parerythropodium fulvum fulvum: reproductive and developmental considerations. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 169:87–95Google Scholar
  14. Kim K (1994) Antimicrobial activity in gorgonian corals (Coelenterata, Octocorallia). Coral Reefs 13:75–80Google Scholar
  15. Koh EGL (1997) Do scleractinian corals engage in chemical warfare against microbes? J Chem Ecol 23:379–398Google Scholar
  16. Kushmaro A, Loya Y, Fine M, Rosenberg E (1996) Bacterial infection and coral bleaching. Nature 380:396Google Scholar
  17. Kushmaro A, Rosenberg E, Fine M, Loya Y (1997) Bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica by Vibrio AK-1. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 147:159–165Google Scholar
  18. Loya Y, Sakai K, Yamazato K, Nakano Y, Sambali H, van Woesik R (2001) Coral bleaching: the winners and losers. Ecol Lett 4:122–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Monks NR, Lerner C, Henriques AT, Farias SM, Schapoval EES, Suyenaga ES, da Rocha AB, Schwartzmann G, Mothes B (2002) Anticancer, antichemotactic and antimicrobial activities of marine sponges collected off the coast of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 2:1–12Google Scholar
  20. Mullen KM, Peters EC, Harvell CD (2004) Coral resistance to disease. In: Rosenberg E, Loya Y (eds) Coral health and disease. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 377–399Google Scholar
  21. Patterson KL, Porter JW, Ritchie KB, Polson SW, Mueller E, Peters EC, Santavy DL, Smith GW (2002) The etiology of white pox, a lethal disease of the Caribbean elkhorn coral Acropora palmata. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:8725–8730PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Richardson LL (1998) Coral diseases: what is really known? Trends Ecol Conserv 13:438–443Google Scholar
  23. Rosenberg E, Ben-Haim Y (2002) Microbial diseases of corals and global warming. Environ Microbiol 4:318–326PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Slattery M, McClintock JB, Heine JN (1995) Chemical defenses in Antarctic soft corals: evidence for antifouling compounds. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 190:61–77Google Scholar
  25. Sussman M, Loya Y, Fine M, Rosenberg E (2003) The marine fireworm Hermodice carunculata is a winter reservior and spring–summer vector for the coral-bleaching pathogen Vibrio shiloi. Environ Microbiol 5:250–255PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Microbiology and BiotechnologyTel Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations