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Metagenomic Analysis of Healthy and White Plague-Affected Mussismilia braziliensis Corals

Abstract

Coral health is under threat throughout the world due to regional and global stressors. White plague disease (WP) is one of the most important threats affecting the major reef builder of the Abrolhos Bank in Brazil, the endemic coral Mussismilia braziliensis. We performed a metagenomic analysis of healthy and WP-affected M. braziliensis in order to determine the types of microbes associated with this coral species. We also optimized a protocol for DNA extraction from coral tissues. Our taxonomic analysis revealed Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinomycetes as the main groups in all healthy and WP-affected corals. Vibrionales, members of the CytophagaFlavobacteriumBacteroides complex, Rickettsiales, and Neisseriales were more abundant in the WP-affected corals. Diseased corals also had more eukaryotic metagenomic sequences identified as Alveolata and Apicomplexa. Our results suggest that WP disease in M. braziliensis is caused by a polymicrobial consortium.

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge JST-CNPq, FAPERJ, and CAPES for funding. We also thank the project for the International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, Culture, and Technology, Japan.

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Correspondence to Fabiano L. Thompson.

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Table 1

Coral Database composition and references (XLSX 11 kb)

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Garcia, G.D., Gregoracci, G.B., de O. Santos, E. et al. Metagenomic Analysis of Healthy and White Plague-Affected Mussismilia braziliensis Corals. Microb Ecol 65, 1076–1086 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-012-0161-4

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Keywords

  • Vibrio
  • Bacteroidetes
  • Coral Species
  • Metagenomic Library
  • Metagenomic Analysis