The role of microorganisms in coral health, disease and evolution

  title={The role of microorganisms in coral health, disease and evolution},
  author={Eugene Rosenberg and Omry Koren and Lea Reshef and Rotem Efrony and Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg},
  journal={Nature Reviews Microbiology},
Coral microbiology is an emerging field, driven largely by a desire to understand, and ultimately prevent, the worldwide destruction of coral reefs. The mucus layer, skeleton and tissues of healthy corals all contain large populations of eukaryotic algae, bacteria and archaea. These microorganisms confer benefits to their host by various mechanisms, including photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, the provision of nutrients and infection prevention. Conversely, in conditions of environmental stress… 
Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMC): Proposed Mechanisms for Coral Health and Resilience
The term BMC (Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals) is proposed to define (specific) symbionts that promote coral health and the potential mechanisms of the effects of BMC on corals are proposed, suggesting strategies for the use of this knowledge to manipulate the microbiome, reversing dysbiosis to restore and protect coral reefs.
Coral-associated micro-organisms and their roles in promoting coral health and thwarting diseases
Understanding the role of innate immunity, signal and nutrient exchange in the establishment of coral microbiota and in controlling its functions will probably reveal ancient, evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that dictate the outcomes of host–microbial interactions, and impact the resilience of the host.
Association of Coral-Microbes, and the Ecological Roles of Microbial Symbionts in Corals
It is necessary to develop novel techniques to increase the culturables as well as explore the shaping factors of coral-associated microbes and their central functions in corals.
The Role of Vibrios in Diseases of Corals.
  • C. Munn
  • Biology
    Microbiology spectrum
  • 2015
It is concluded that most-possibly all-vibrios should be regarded as "opportunistic" pathogens which, under certain environmental conditions, are capable of overwhelming the defense mechanisms of appropriate hosts, leading to rapid growth and tissue destruction.
The versatile nature of coral-associated viruses.
The hypothesis is put forward that coral-associated viruses, depending on the environmental conditions might either reinforce coral stability or conversely fasten their decline, allowing viruses to regulate, circumstantially, both coral symbionts and surrounding pathogens.
Microbial Diseases of Corals: Pathology and Ecology
Several possible modes of coral innate immunity to disease are discussed and the small amount of data that is available on the modes of transmission and mechanism of pathogenicity are presented.
How Does the Coral Microbiome Cause, Respond to, or Modulate the Bleaching Process?
Context is provided for the importance of the coral microbiome to holobiont function from the perspective of the bleaching response and how a shifting and potentially dysbiotic microbiome may impact the coral host in the context of bleaching.
Microbial Interactions on Coral Surfaces and Within the Coral Holobiont
This chapter focuses on interactions within coral-associated microbial communities and suggests potentially interesting directions for future research.
Coral-associated bacterial assemblages: current knowledge and the potential for climate-driven impacts.
It is suggested that the relationship between coral and their bacterial associates represents a valuable model that can be applied to the broader discipline of invertebrate-microbial interactions, and evidence that coral-bacterial assemblages could be sensitive to the effects of climatic change.


The coral probiotic hypothesis.
The Coral Probiotic Hypothesis posits that a dynamic relationship exists between symbiotic microorganisms and environmental conditions which brings about the selection of the most advantageous coral holobiont.
Regulation of microbial populations by coral surface mucus and mucus-associated bacteria
Coral mucus inhibited antibiotic activity and pigment production in a poten- tially invasive bacterium, illustrating that coral mucus may inactivate mechanisms used for bacterial niche establishment and suggesting a microbial contribution to the antibacterial activity described for coral mucUS.
Bacterial populations and adaptations in the mucus layers on living corals1
Bacterial populations in coral mucus respond to stresses applied to the host coral by growing to higher population levels in the mucus, indicating that these are populations of viable organisms closely attuned to host metabolism.
Culture-Independent Analyses of Coral-Associated Microbes
A model of how microbes are structured on healthy corals is proposed, as is the hypothesis that disrupting this structure leads to coral disease and death.
Flexibility and Specificity in Coral-Algal Symbiosis: Diversity, Ecology, and Biogeography of Symbiodinium
  • A. Baker
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2003
Unusual symbionts normally found only in larval stages, marginal environments, uncommon host taxa, or at latitudinal extremes may prove critical in understanding the long-term resilience of coral reef ecosystems to environmental perturbation.
Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae-mediated, microbe-induced coral mortality.
The results suggest that as human impacts increase and algae become more abundant on reefs a positive feedback loop may be created whereby compounds released by algae enhance microbial activity on live coral surfaces causing mortality of corals and further algal growth.
Microbial Communities of Coral Surface Mucopolysaccharide Layers
Theoretical and observed consequences of environmental changes lead to the disruption of the ‘normal’ communities associated with healthy corals, and changes in the community structure may result in the development of disease.
Do Scleractinian Corals Engage in Chemical Warfare Against Microbes?
Bacterial counts exceeded cyanobacterial counts on coral surfaces, and coral species with antibacterial activity had the fewest bacteria on their surfaces, suggesting that corals with less heavily colonized surfaces chemically inhibit microbial colonization.
Temperature-Regulated Bleaching and Lysis of the Coral Pocillopora damicornis by the Novel Pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus
It is suggested that bleaching of P. damicornis results from an attack on the algae, whereas bacterium-induced lysis and death are promoted by bacterial extracellular proteases, which supports the bacterial hypothesis of coral bleaching.
Superoxide Dismutase Is a Virulence Factor Produced by the Coral Bleaching Pathogen Vibrio shiloi
It is reported here that V. shiloi produces an extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD) at 30°C, but not at 16°C; these data support the hypothesis that SOD protects the intracellular V.Shiloi from oxidative stress caused by the high concentration of oxygen produced by intrACEllular zooxanthellae photosynthesis.