Hydrobiologia

, Volume 460, Issue 1–3, pp 105–111 | Cite as

Characterization of Aspergillus sydowii (Thom et Church), a fungal pathogen of Caribbean sea fan corals

  • Alisa P. Alker
  • Garriet W. Smith
  • Kiho Kim

Abstract

In the Caribbean, the fungus Aspergillus sydowii is currently causing an epizootic among sea fan corals (Gorgonia spp.). To elucidate potential factors that may have facilitated the emergence of this disease, we characterized and compared temperature requirements, susceptibility to coral crude extracts, and metabolic profiles of pathogenic (marine) and non-pathogenic (terrestrial) strains of A. sydowii. Growth of all A. sydowii strains were observed at all temperatures tested (22–36 °C) with an optimum of approximately 30 °C. Sea fan crude extracts inhibited growth of A. sydowii but were less effective at higher temperatures. Thus, temperature is likely to have a strong influence on the dynamics of the Gorgonia–Aspergillus interaction by promoting the growth of the pathogen while reducing the efficacy of host resistance. Metabolically, marine A. sydowii strains pathogenic to sea fans were distinct from non-pathogenic terrestrial strains.

Gorgonia Aspergillus sydowii temperature optima growth rate coral disease 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abrell, L. M., B. Borgeson & P. Crews, 1996. Chloro polyketides from the cultured fungus (Aspergillus) separated from a marine sponge. Tet. Let. 37: 2331–2333.Google Scholar
  2. Antonius, A., 1981. The ‘band’ diseases in coral reefs. Int. coral reef Symp. 2: 7–14.Google Scholar
  3. Aronson, R. B. & W. E. Precht, 1997. Stasis, biological disturbance and community structure of a Holocene coral reef. Paleobiology 23: 326–346.Google Scholar
  4. Arkoosh, M. R., E. Casillas, E. Clemons, A. N. Kagley, R. Olson, P. Reno & J. E. Stein, 1998. Effect of pollution on fish diseases: Potential impacts on salmonid populations. J. Aquat. Anim. Health 10: 182–190.Google Scholar
  5. Belofsky, G., P. R. Jensen, M. K. Renner & W. Fenical, 1998. New cytotoxic sesquiterpenoid nitrobenzoyl esters from a marine strain of the fungus Aspergillus versicolor. Tetrahedron 54: 1715–1724.Google Scholar
  6. Bochner, B. R., 1989. Sleuthing out bacterial identities. Nature 339: 157–158.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, B. E., 1997. Coral bleaching: causes and consequences. Coral Reefs. 16: S129–138.Google Scholar
  8. Carlton, R. G. & L. L. Richardson, 1995. Oxygen and sulfide dynamics in a horizontally migrating cyanobacterial mat: black band disease of corals. FEMS microbiol. Ecol. 18: 155–162.Google Scholar
  9. Clarke, R., 1996. Population shifts in two competing fish species on a degrading coral reef. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 137: 51–58.Google Scholar
  10. Colwell, R. R., 1996. Global climate and infectious disease: the cholera paradigm. Science 274: 2025–2031.Google Scholar
  11. Cuppers, H., S. Oomes & S. Brul, 1997. A model for the combined effects of temperature and salt concentration on the growth rate of food spoilage. Appl. envir. Microbiol. 63: 3764–3769.Google Scholar
  12. Dixon, D. M. & T. J. Walsh, 1992. Human pathogenesis. In Bennett, J. & M. Klich (eds), Aspergillus: Biology and Industrial Applications. Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston: 249–267.Google Scholar
  13. Espinel-Ingroff, A., M. Bartlett, R. Bowden, N. Chin, C. Cooper, A. Fothergill, M. McGinnis, P. Menezes, S. Messer, P. Nelson, F. Odds, L. Pasarell, J. Peter, M. Ofaller, J. Rex, M. Rinaldi, G. Shankland, T. Walsh & I. Weitzman, 1997. Multicenter evaluation of proposed standardized procedure for antifungal susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi. J. clin. Microbiol. Jan. 1997: 139–143.Google Scholar
  14. Feingold, J. S., 1988. Ecological studies of a cyanobacterial infection of the Caribbean sea plume Pseudopterogorgia acerosa (Coelenterata: Octocorallia). Int. coral reef Sym. 3: 157–162.Google Scholar
  15. Ford, S. E., 1996. Range extension by the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus into the northeastern United States: response to climate change? J. shell. Res. 15: 45–56.Google Scholar
  16. Geiser, D., J. Taylor, K. Ritchie & G. Smith, 1998. Cause of sea fan death in the West Indies. Nature 394: 137–138.Google Scholar
  17. Gharelb, M. & M. Nour El Dein, 1990. Growth and enzyme activities of Aspergillus sydowii grown on alkali pretreated sawdust as influenced by some culture conditions. Egypt. J. Bot. 33: 191–200.Google Scholar
  18. Gladfelter, W. B., 1982. White-band disease in Acropora palmata: implications for the structure and growth of shallow reefs. Bull. mar. Sci. 32: 639–643.Google Scholar
  19. Goreau, T. J., J. Cervino, M. Goreau, R. Hayes, M. Hayes, L. Richardson, G. Smith, K. DeMeyer, I. Nagelkerken, J. Garzon-Ferrera, D. Gil, G. Garrison, E. H. Williams, L. Bunkley-Williams, G. Quirolo, K. Patterson, J. W. Porter, & K. Porter, 1998. Rapid spread of diseases in Caribbean coral reefs. Rev. biol. trop. 46Suppl. 5: 157–171.Google Scholar
  20. Grigg, R. W. & S. J. Dollar, 1990. Natural and anthropogenic disturbance on coral reefs. In Dubinsky, Z. (ed.), Coral Reefs. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam: 439–452.Google Scholar
  21. Harvell, C.D., K. Kim, J. M. Burkholder, R. R. Colwell, P. R. Epstein, D. J. Grimes, E. E. Hofmann, E. K. Lipp, A. D. M. E. Osterhaus, R. M. Overstreet, J. W. Porter, G. W. Smith, & G. R. Vasta, 1999. Emerging marine diseases–climate links and anthropogenic factors. Science 285: 1505–1510.Google Scholar
  22. Holmquist, G. U., H. W. Walker & H. M. Stahr, 1983. Influence of temperature, pH, water activity and antifungal agents on growth of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. J. food Sci. 8: 778–782.Google Scholar
  23. Hughes, T. P., 1994. Catastrophes, phase shifts, and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science 265: 1547–1551.Google Scholar
  24. Kendrick, B., M. Risk, J. Michaelides & K. Bergman, 1982. Amphibious microborers: bioeroding fungi isolated from live corals. Bull. mar. Sci. 32: 862–867.Google Scholar
  25. Kim, K., C. D. Harvell, P. D. Kim, G. W. Smith & S. M. Merkel, 2000. Fungal disease resistance of Caribbean sea fan corals (Gorgonia spp.). Mar. Biol. 136: 259–267. 111Google Scholar
  26. Kushmaro, A., Y. Loya, M. Fine & E. Rosenberg, 1997. Bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica by Vibrio AK-1. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 147: 159–165.Google Scholar
  27. Kushmaro, A., Y. Loya, M. Fine & E. Rosenberg, 1996. Bacterial infection and coral bleaching. Nature 380: 396.Google Scholar
  28. Kushmaro, A., E. Rosenberg, M. Fine, Y. Ben Haim & Y. Loya, 1998. Effect of temperature on bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica by Vibrio AK-1. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 171: 131–137.Google Scholar
  29. Kuta, K. G. & L. L. Richardson, 1996. Abundance and distribution of black band disease on corals reefs in the northern Florida Keys. Coral Reefs 15: 219–223.Google Scholar
  30. Lessios, H. A., 1988. Mass mortality of Diadema antillarum in the Caribbean: what have we learned? Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 19: 371–393.Google Scholar
  31. Lenihan, H., F. Micheli, S. Shelton & C. Peterson, 1999. The in-fluence of multiple environmental stressors on susceptibility to parasites: an experimental determination with oysters. Limnol. Oceanogr. 44: 910–924.Google Scholar
  32. Nagelkerken, I., K. Buchan, G. W. Smith, K. Bonair, P. Bush, J. Garzón-Ferreira, L. Boltero, P. Gayle, C. Heberer, C. Petrovic, L. Pors & P. Yoshioka, 1996. Widespread disease in Caribbean sea fans: I. Spreading and general characteristics. Int. coral reef Symp. 1: 679–682.Google Scholar
  33. Nagelkerken, I., K. Buchan, G. W. Smith, K. Bonair, P. Bush, J. Garzón-Ferreira, L. Botero, P. Gayle, C. D. Harvell, C. Heberer, K. Kim, C. Petrovic, L. Pors & P. Yoshioka, 1997. Widespread disease in Caribbean sea fans: II. Patterns of infection and tissue loss. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 160: 255–263.Google Scholar
  34. Olutiola, P. O. & O. O. Cole, 1977. Some environmental and nutritional factors affecting growth and sporulation of Aspergillus sydowi. Physiol. Plant 39: 239–242.Google Scholar
  35. Pastorok, R. & G. Bilyard, 1985. Effects of sewage pollution on coral-reef communities. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 21: 175–189.Google Scholar
  36. Pontón, J., G. Quindos & R. Cisterna, 1991. Humoral responses of the host to fungi. In Arora, D. K., L. Ajello & K. Mukerji (eds), Handbook of Applied Mycology, Vol. 2. Humans, Animals and Insects. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, New York: 289–340.Google Scholar
  37. Raghukumar, C. & S. Raghukumar, 1998. Barotolerance of fungi isolated from deep-sea sediments of the Indian Ocean. Aquat. microbiol. Ecol. 15: 153–163.Google Scholar
  38. Richardson, L. L., 1998. Coral diseases: what is really known? Trends Ecol. Evol. 13: 438–443.Google Scholar
  39. Rinaldi, M. G., 1983. Invasive aspergillosis. Rev. infect. Dis. 5: 1061–1077.Google Scholar
  40. Ross, P. S., R. L. De Swart, H. Van Loveren, A. D. M. E. Osterhaus & J. G. Vost, 1996. The immunotoxicity of environmental contaminants to marine wildlife: a review. Annu. Rev. fish Dis. 6: 151–165.Google Scholar
  41. Roth, F. J., P. A. Orpurt & D. G. Ahearn, 1964. Occurrence and distribution of fungi in a subtropical marine environment. Can. J. Bot. 42: 375–383.Google Scholar
  42. Rützler, K., D. L. Santavy & A. Antonius, 1983. The black band disease of Atlantic reef corals 3. Distribution ecology and development. Mar. Ecol. P. Z. N. I. 4: 329–358.Google Scholar
  43. Smith, G. W., C. D Harvell & K. Kim, 1998. Response of sea fans to infection with Aspergillus sp. (Fungi). Rev. biol. trop. 46Supl. 5: 205–208.Google Scholar
  44. Smith, G. W., L. D. Ives, I. A. Nagelkerken & K. B. Richie, 1996. Caribbean sea-fan mortalities. Nature 383: 487.Google Scholar
  45. Smith, J. M. B., 1989. Aspergillosis. In Opportunistic Mycoses of Man and Other Animals. BPCC Wheatons Ltd, Exeter, Wallingford, U.K.: 81–114.Google Scholar
  46. Sweeney, J. C., G. Migaki, P. M. Vainik & R. H. Conklin, 1976. Systemic mycoses in marine mammals. J. am. vet. med. assoc. 169: 946–948.Google Scholar
  47. Thompson, J. N., 1998. Rapid evolution as an ecological process. Trends. Ecol. Evol. 13: 329–332.Google Scholar
  48. Toren, A., L. Landau, A. Kushmaro, Y. Loya & E. Rosenberg, 1998. Effect of temperature on adhesion of Vibrio strain AK-1 to Oculina patagonica and on coral bleaching. Appl. envir. Microbiol. 64: 1379–1384.Google Scholar
  49. Toske, S. G., P. R. Jensen, C. A. Kauffman & W. Fenical, 1998. Aspergillamides A and B: modified cytotoxic tripeptides produced by a marine fungus of the genus Aspergillus. Tetrahed. 54: 13459–13466.Google Scholar
  50. Williams, E. H. & L. Bunkley-Williams, 1990. The world-wide coral reef bleaching cycle and related sources of coral mortality. Atoll res. Bull. 335: 1–63.Google Scholar
  51. Wilkinson, C., O. Linden, H. Cesar, G. Hodgson, J. Rubens & A. E. Strong, 1999. Ecological and socioeconomic impacts of 1998 coral mortality in the Indian Ocean: An ENSO impact and a warning of future change? Ambio 28:188–196.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alisa P. Alker
    • 1
  • Garriet W. Smith
    • 2
  • Kiho Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology & Evolutionary BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Biology and GeologyUniversity of South CarolinaAikenU.S.A.
  3. 3.Department of BiologyAmerican UniversityNW WashingtonU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations