Microbial Ecology

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 50–59 | Cite as

Bacterial Consortium of Millepora dichotoma Exhibiting Unusual Multifocal Lesion Event in the Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea

  • Nithyanand Paramasivam
  • Eitan Ben-Dov
  • Luba Arotsker
  • Esti Kramarsky-Winter
  • Assaf Zvuloni
  • Yossi Loya
  • Ariel Kushmaro
Environmental Microbiology


Colonies of the hydrocoral Millepora dichotoma along the Gulf of Eilat are exhibiting unusual tissue lesions in the form of white spots. The emergence and rapid establishment of these multifocal tissue lesions was the first of its kind reported in this region. A characterization of this morphological anomaly revealed bleached tissues with a significant presence of bacteria in the tissue lesion area. To ascertain possible differences in microbial biota between the lesion area and non-affected tissues, we characterized the bacterial diversity in the two areas of these hydrocorals. Both culture-independent (molecular) and culture-dependent assays showed a shift in bacterial community structure between the healthy and affected tissues. Several 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from the affected tissues matched sequences of bacterial clones belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes members previously associated with various diseases in scleractinian corals.


Coral Reef Vibrio Clone Library Alphaproteobacteria Scleractinian Coral 
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.



This research was supported by ISF Grant number 1169/07, by The Council for Higher Education (VATAT) of Israel for PN and by the Raynor Chair for Environmental Conservation Research to AZ. The authors also thank the Inter-University Institute in Eilat for use of their facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nithyanand Paramasivam
    • 1
  • Eitan Ben-Dov
    • 2
    • 3
  • Luba Arotsker
    • 1
  • Esti Kramarsky-Winter
    • 4
  • Assaf Zvuloni
    • 4
    • 5
  • Yossi Loya
    • 4
  • Ariel Kushmaro
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology EngineeringBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Achva Academic CollegeM.P. ShikmimIsrael
  3. 3.National Institute for Biotechnology in the NegevBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  5. 5.Israel Nature and Parks AuthorityEilatIsrael
  6. 6.School of Materials Science and EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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