Advertisement

Coral Reefs

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 593–597 | Cite as

Cellular processes of bleaching in the Mediterranean coral Oculina patagonica

  • T. D. Ainsworth
  • O. Hoegh-Guldberg
Note

Abstract

Annual bleaching of Oculina patagonica on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline has been reported since 1993, although the cellular mechanisms underlying the bleaching have not yet been investigated. This survey examined 48 coral colonies of O. patagonica (bleached and unbleached) from various sites along the Israeli coast. Histopathological investigations of bleached lesions revealed a loss of endosymbionts, and an apparent in situ degradation of the endosymbionts. In situ end labelling of bleaching lesions did not provide evidence of apoptotic cell death. Electron microscopy of bleaching lesions also demonstrated an apparent in situ degradation and no evidence of apoptotic cell death of the host.

Keywords

In situ degradation Coral bleaching Apoptosis Histology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Professor Eugene Rosenberg, Professor Yossi Loya and Dr Esti Kramasky-Winter for help with this project. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the GEF Coral Reef Targeted Research Program provided financial support.

References

  1. Ainsworth TD, Fine M, Blackall L, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2006) Fluorescence in situ hybridisation and spectral imaging of coral-associated bacterial communities. Appl Environ Microbiol 72:3016–3020PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ainsworth TD, Kvennefors EC, Blackall L, Fine M, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2007) Disease and cell death in White Syndrome of Acroporid corals on the Great Barrier Reef. Mar Biol 151:19–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ben-Haim Y, Rosenberg E (2002) A novel Vibrio sp pathogen of the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Mar Biol 141:47–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ben-Haim Y, Thompson FL, Thompson CC, Cnockaert MC, Hoste B, Swings J, Rosenberg E (2003a) Vibrio coralliilyticus sp. nov., a temperature-dependent pathogen of the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 55:309–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ben-Haim Y, Zicherman-Keren M, Rosenberg E (2003b) Temperature-regulated bleaching and lysis of the coral Pocillopora damicornis by the novel pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:4236–4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown BE, Le Tissier MDA, Bythell JC (1995) Mechanisms of bleaching deduced from histological studies of reef corals sampled during a natural bleaching event. Mar Biol 122:655–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coles PL, Jokiel SL (1977) Effects of temperature on the mortality and growth of Hawaiian and other Indo-pacific reef corals to elevated temperature. Coral Reefs 8:155–162Google Scholar
  8. Dunn SR, Bythell JC, Le Tissier MDA, Burnett WJ, Thomason JC (2002) Programmed cell death and cell necrosis activity during hyperthermic stress induced bleaching of the symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia sp. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 272:29–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fine M, Loya Y (1995) The coral Oculina patagonica: a new immigrant to the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Isr J Zool 41:81Google Scholar
  10. Gates RD, Baghdasarian G, Muscatine L (1992) Temperature stress causes host cell detachment in symbiotic cnidarians: implications for coral bleaching. Biol Bull 182:324–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Glynn P, D’Croz L (1990) Experimental evidence for high temperature stress as the cause of El Nino-coincident coral mortality. Coral Reefs 8:191–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glynn PW (1991) Coral reef bleaching in the 1980s and possible connections with global warming. Trends Ecol Evol 6:175–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Glynn PW, Peters EC, Muscatine L (1985) Coral tissue microstructure and necrosis: relation to catastrophic coral mortality in panama. Dis Aquat Org 1:29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hoegh-Guldberg O, Smith GJ (1989) The effect of sudden changes in temperature, light and salinity of population density and export of zooxanthallae from the reef corals Seriatopora hystrix and Stylophora pistillata. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 129:270–303Google Scholar
  15. Hoegh-Guldberg O (1999) Coral bleaching, climate change and the future of the world’s coral reef. Mar Freshw Res 50:839–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hughes TP (1994) Catastrophes phase shifts and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science 265:1547–1551PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kleppel GS, Dodge RE, Reese CJ (1989) Changes in pigmentation associated with the bleaching of stony corals. Limnol Oceanogr 34:131–135Google Scholar
  18. Kushmaro A, Loya Y, Fine M, Rosenberg E (1996) Bacterial infection and coral bleaching. Nature 380:396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kushmaro A, Rosenberg E, Fine M, Loya Y (1997) Bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica by Vibrio AK-1. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 147:159–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kushmaro A, Rosenberg E, Fine M, Ben-Haim Y, Loya Y (1998) Effect of temperature on bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica by Vibrio shiloi AK-1. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 171:131–137Google Scholar
  21. Kushmaro A, Banin E, Loya Y, Stackebrandt E, Rosenberg E (2001) Vibrio shiloi sp nov the causative agent of bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 51:1383–1388PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Le Tissier MDA (1990) The ultrastructure of the skeleton and skeletongenic tissues of the temperate coral Coaryophyllia smithii. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 70:295–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lesser MP, Stochaj WR, Tapley DW, Shick JM (1990) Bleaching in coral reef anthozoans: effects of irradiance, ultraviolet radiation and temperature on the activities of protective enzymes against active oxygen. Coral Reefs 8:225–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Steen RG, Muscatine L (1987) Low temperature evokes rapid exocytosis of symbiotic algae by a sea anemone. Biol Bull 172:246–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sutherland KP, Porter JW, Torres C (2004) Disease and immunity in Caribbean and Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 266:273–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Marine Studies, and The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reefs StudiesThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations