Microbial Interactions on Coral Surfaces and Within the Coral Holobiont

  • Max TeplitskiEmail author
  • Cory J. Krediet
  • Julie L. Meyer
  • Kim B. Ritchie


Microbial communities associated with coral surfaces are diverse and complex. They play key roles in nutrient acquisition by coral holobionts and in responses to stressors and diseases. Members of coral-associated microbiota produce antimicrobial compounds, inhibit cell-to-cell signaling, and disrupt virulence in opportunistic pathogens. Characterization of coral-associated microbial communities suggests that metabolic capabilities define the core members of the communities. However, some taxonomic conservation is becoming evident in microbial communities associated with the same coral species and genera in different geographic regions. Even though shifts in the composition of coral microbiota often correlate with the appearance of signs of diseases and/or bleaching, it is not yet clear to what extent these shifts are a cause or a consequence of diseases. This chapter focuses on interactions within coral-associated microbial communities and suggests potentially interesting directions for future research.


Coral microbiology Coral disease Halomonas spp. Coral mucus Coral commensal microbiota 



Preparation of this manuscript was supported by the Protect Our Reefs Foundation (MT, KBR, CJK and JLM) and by the George E. Burch Fellowship in Theoretical Medicine (MT).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Teplitski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cory J. Krediet
    • 2
  • Julie L. Meyer
    • 3
  • Kim B. Ritchie
    • 4
  1. 1.Smithsonian Marine StationFt. PierceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Marine ScienceEckerd CollegeSt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Soil and Water Science DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Mote Marine LaboratorySarasotaUSA

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