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the etiology of white pox, a lethal disease of the caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata.populations of the shallow-water caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, are being decimated by white pox disease, with losses of living cover in the florida keys typically in excess of 70%. the rate of tissue loss is rapid, averaging 2.5 cm2 x day(-1), and is greatest during periods of seasonally elevated temperature. in florida, the spread of white pox fits the contagion model, with nearest neighbors most susceptible to infection. in this report, we identify a common fecal enterobacterium, ...200212077296
utilization of mucus from the coral acropora palmata by the pathogen serratia marcescens and by environmental and coral commensal bacteria.in recent years, diseases of corals caused by opportunistic pathogens have become widespread. how opportunistic pathogens establish on coral surfaces, interact with native microbiota, and cause disease is not yet clear. this study compared the utilization of coral mucus by coral-associated commensal bacteria ("photobacterium mandapamensis" and halomonas meridiana) and by opportunistic serratia marcescens pathogens. s. marcescens pdl100 (a pathogen associated with white pox disease of acroporid c ...200919395569
human sewage identified as likely source of white pox disease of the threatened caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata.caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, has been decimated in recent years, resulting in the listing of this species as threatened under the united states endangered species act. a major contributing factor in the decline of this iconic species is white pox disease. in 2002, we identified the faecal enterobacterium, serratia marcescens, as an etiological agent for white pox. during outbreaks in 2003 a unique strain of s. marcescens was identified in both human sewage and white pox lesions. th ...201020132278
how microbial community composition regulates coral disease development.reef coral cover is in rapid decline worldwide, in part due to bleaching (expulsion of photosynthetic symbionts) and outbreaks of infectious disease. one important factor associated with bleaching and in disease transmission is a shift in the composition of the microbial community in the mucus layer surrounding the coral: the resident microbial community-which is critical to the healthy functioning of the coral holobiont-is replaced by pathogenic microbes, often species of vibrio. in this paper ...201020361023
systematic analysis of white pox disease in acropora palmata of the florida keys and role of serratia marcescens.white pox disease (wpd) affects the threatened elkhorn coral, acropora palmata. owing in part to the lack of a rapid and simple diagnostic test, there have been few systematic assessments of the prevalence of acroporid serratiosis (caused specifically by serratia marcescens) versus general wpd signs. six reefs in the florida keys were surveyed between 2011 and 2013 to determine the disease status of a. palmata and the prevalence of s. marcescens. wpd was noted at four of the six reefs, with wpd ...201525911491
human pathogen shown to cause disease in the threatened eklhorn coral acropora palmata.coral reefs are in severe decline. infections by the human pathogen serratia marcescens have contributed to precipitous losses in the common caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, culminating in its listing under the united states endangered species act. during a 2003 outbreak of this coral disease, called acroporid serratiosis (aps), a unique strain of the pathogen, serratia marcescens strain pdr60, was identified from diseased a. palmata, human wastewater, the non-host coral siderastrea si ...201121858132
catabolite regulation of enzymatic activities in a white pox pathogen and commensal bacteria during growth on mucus polymers from the coral acropora palmata.colonization of host mucus surfaces is one of the first steps in the establishment of coral-associated microbial communities. coral mucus contains a sulfated glycoprotein (in which oligosaccharide decorations are connected to the polypeptide backbone by a mannose residue) and molecules that result from its degradation. mucus is utilized as a growth substrate by commensal and pathogenic organisms. two representative coral commensals, photobacterium mandapamensis and halomonas meridiana, differed ...200920095241
rapid evolution of coral proteins responsible for interaction with the environment.corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. the ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. a genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably.201121633702
genetic seascape of the threatened caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, on the puerto rico shelf.it has been proposed that the elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, is genetically separated into two distinct provinces in the caribbean, an eastern and a western population admixing in western puerto rico and around the mona passage. in this study, the genetic structure of a. palmata sampled at 11 puerto rican localities and localities from curaçao, the bahamas and guadeloupe were examined. analyses using five microsatellite markers showed that 75% of sampled colonies had unique genotypes, the rest ...201526085704
intraspecific diversity among partners drives functional variation in coral symbioses.the capacity of coral-dinoflagellate mutualisms to adapt to a changing climate relies in part on standing variation in host and symbiont populations, but rarely have the interactions between symbiotic partners been considered at the level of individuals. here, we tested the importance of inter-individual variation with respect to the physiology of coral holobionts. we identified six genetically distinct acropora palmata coral colonies that all shared the same isoclonal symbiodinium 'fitti' dinof ...201526497873
spatial homogeneity of bacterial communities associated with the surface mucus layer of the reef-building coral acropora palmata.coral surface mucus layer (sml) microbiota are critical components of the coral holobiont and play important roles in nutrient cycling and defense against pathogens. we sequenced 16s rrna amplicons to examine the structure of the sml microbiome within and between colonies of the threatened caribbean reef-building coral acropora palmata in the florida keys. samples were taken from three spatially distinct colony regions--uppermost (high irradiance), underside (low irradiance), and the colony base ...201526659364
microbial composition of biofilms associated with lithifying rubble of acropora palmata branches.coral reefs are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, but are rapidly declining due to global-warming-mediated changes in the oceans. particularly for the caribbean region, acropora sp. stony corals have lost ∼80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. we analyzed the microbial composition of biofilms that colonize and lithify dead acropora palmata rubble in the mexican caribbean and identified the microbial assemblages that can persist under ...201626705570
correction: spatial homogeneity of bacterial communities associated with the surface mucus layer of the reef-building coral acropora palmata. 201626745888
is acropora palmata recovering? a case study in los roques national park, venezuela.eight years ago (2007), the distribution and status of acropora palmata was quantified throughout los roques archipelago in venezuela. the aim was to produce a baseline study for this species which combined population genetics with demographic data. the results highlighted that a. palmata had the potential to recover in at least 6 out of 10 sites surveyed. recovery potential was assumed to be high at sites with a relatively high abundance of the coral, low disease prevalence, high genetic divers ...201626839742
proteomic analysis of bleached and unbleached acropora palmata, a threatened coral species of the caribbean.there has been an increase in the scale and frequency of coral bleaching around the world due mainly to changes in sea temperature. this may occur at large scales, often resulting in significant decline in coral coverage. in order to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the ever-increasing incidence of coral bleaching, we have undertaken a comparative proteomic approach with the endangered caribbean coral acropora palmata. using a proteomic tandem mass spectrometry approach, we identif ...201627105725
how old are you? genet age estimates in a clonal animal.foundation species such as redwoods, seagrasses and corals are often long-lived and clonal. genets may consist of hundreds of members (ramets) and originated hundreds to thousands of years ago. as climate change and other stressors exert selection pressure on species, the demography of populations changes. yet, because size does not indicate age in clonal organisms, demographic models are missing data necessary to predict the resilience of many foundation species. here, we correlate somatic muta ...201627671533
microsatellite loci isolated from the scleractinian coral, acropora nobilis.we report the isolation and characterization of eight microsatellite loci from the scleractinian coral, acropora nobilis. the microsatellite loci were obtained using compound ssr primers or an enrichment protocol. all the loci were polymorphic with four to eight alleles per locus and observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.22 to 0.76. some of the primers developed for the two congeners, acropora palmata and acropora millepora were applicable to a. nobilis. these loci are useful for studying the ...200821585840
removal of corallivorous snails as a proactive tool for the conservation of acroporid corals.corallivorous snail feeding is a common source of tissue loss for the threatened coral, acropora palmata, accounting for roughly one-quarter of tissue loss in monitored study plots over seven years. in contrast with larger threats such as bleaching, disease, or storms, corallivory by coralliophila abbreviata is one of the few direct sources of partial mortality that may be locally managed. we conducted a field experiment to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of snail removal. long-term mo ...201425469321
genetic susceptibility, colony size, and water temperature drive white-pox disease on the coral acropora palmata.outbreaks of coral diseases are one of the greatest threats to reef corals in the caribbean, yet the mechanisms that lead to coral diseases are still largely unknown. here we examined the spatial-temporal dynamics of white-pox disease on acropora palmata coral colonies of known genotypes. we took a bayesian approach, using integrated nested laplace approximation algorithms, to examine which covariates influenced the presence of white-pox disease over seven years. we showed that colony size, gene ...201425372835
experimental antibiotic treatment identifies potential pathogens of white band disease in the endangered caribbean coral acropora cervicornis.coral diseases have been increasingly reported over the past few decades and are a major contributor to coral decline worldwide. the caribbean, in particular, has been noted as a hotspot for coral disease, and the aptly named white syndromes have caused the decline of the dominant reef building corals throughout their range. white band disease (wbd) has been implicated in the dramatic loss of acropora cervicornis and acropora palmata since the 1970s, resulting in both species being listed as cri ...201424943374
new insights into the dynamics between reef corals and their associated dinoflagellate endosymbionts from population genetic studies.the mutualistic symbioses between reef-building corals and micro-algae form the basis of coral reef ecosystems, yet recent environmental changes threaten their survival. diversity in host-symbiont pairings on the sub-species level could be an unrecognized source of functional variation in response to stress. the caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, associates predominantly with one symbiont species (symbiodinium 'fitti'), facilitating investigations of individual-level (genotype) interacti ...201424909707
the chemical cue tetrabromopyrrole from a biofilm bacterium induces settlement of multiple caribbean corals.microbial biofilms induce larval settlement for some invertebrates, including corals; however, the chemical cues involved have rarely been identified. here, we demonstrate the role of microbial biofilms in inducing larval settlement with the caribbean coral porites astreoides and report the first instance of a chemical cue isolated from a marine biofilm bacterium that induces complete settlement (attachment and metamorphosis) of caribbean coral larvae. larvae settled in response to natural biofi ...201424850918
evaluating patterns of a white-band disease (wbd) outbreak in acropora palmata using spatial analysis: a comparison of transect and colony clustering.despite being one of the first documented, there is little known of the causative agent or environmental stressors that promote white-band disease (wbd), a major disease of caribbean acropora palmata. likewise, there is little known about the spatiality of outbreaks. we examined the spatial patterns of wbd during a 2004 outbreak at buck island reef national monument in the us virgin islands.201121818271
assessment of acropora palmata in the mesoamerican reef system.the once-dominant shallow reef-building coral acropora palmata has suffered drastic geographical declines in the wider caribbean from a disease epidemic that began in the late 1970s. at present there is a lack of quantitative data to determine whether this species is recovering over large spatial scales. here, we use quantitative surveys conducted in 107 shallow-water reef sites between 2010 and 2012 to investigate the current distribution and abundance of a. palmata along the mesoamerican reef ...201424763319
tracking transmission of apicomplexan symbionts in diverse caribbean corals.symbionts in each generation are transmitted to new host individuals either vertically (parent to offspring), horizontally (from exogenous sources), or a combination of both. scleractinian corals make an excellent study system for understanding patterns of symbiont transmission since they harbor diverse symbionts and possess distinct reproductive modes of either internal brooding or external broadcast spawning that generally correlate with vertical or horizontal transmission, respectively. here, ...201324260438
variation in the transcriptional response of threatened coral larvae to elevated temperatures.coral populations have declined worldwide largely due to increased sea surface temperatures. recovery of coral populations depends in part upon larval recruitment. many corals reproduce during the warmest time of year when further increases in temperature can lead to low fertilization rates of eggs and high larval mortality. microarray experiments were designed to capture and assess variability in the thermal stress responses of acropora palmata larvae from puerto rico. transcription profiles sh ...201323331636
evidence for multiple phototransduction pathways in a reef-building coral.photosensitive behaviors and circadian rhythms are well documented in reef-building corals and their larvae, but the mechanisms responsible for photoreception have not been described in these organisms. here we report the cloning, immunolocalization, and partial biochemical characterization of three opsins and four g proteins expressed in planulae of the caribbean elkhorn coral, acropora palmata. all three opsins (acropsins 1-3) possess conserved seven-pass transmembrane structure, and localize ...201223227169
assessment of host-associated genetic differentiation among phenotypically divergent populations of a coral-eating gastropod across the caribbean.host-associated adaptation is emerging as a potential driver of population differentiation and speciation for marine organisms with major implications for ecosystem structure and function. coralliophila abbreviata are corallivorous gastropods that live and feed on most of the reef-building corals in the tropical western atlantic and caribbean. populations of c. abbreviata associated with the threatened acroporid corals, acropora palmata and a. cervicornis, display different behavioral, morpholog ...201223133600
evolutionary insights into scleractinian corals using comparative genomic hybridizations.coral reefs belong to the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on our planet. yet, they are under steady decline worldwide due to rising sea surface temperatures, disease, and pollution. understanding the molecular impact of these stressors on different coral species is imperative in order to predict how coral populations will respond to this continued disturbance. the use of molecular tools such as microarrays has provided deep insight into the molecular stress response of co ...201222994626
expanding the population genetic perspective of cnidarian-symbiodinium symbioses.the modern synthesis was a seminal period in the biological sciences, establishing many of the core principles of evolutionary biology that we know today. significant catalysts were the contributions of r.a. fisher, j.b.s. haldane and sewall wright (and others) developing the theoretical underpinning of population genetics, thus demonstrating adaptive evolution resulted from the interplay of forces such as natural selection and mutation within groups of individuals occupying the same space and t ...201425155714
weak prezygotic isolating mechanisms in threatened caribbean acropora corals.the caribbean corals, acropora palmata and a. cervicornis, recently have undergone drastic declines primarily as a result of disease. previous molecular studies have demonstrated that these species form a hybrid (a. prolifera) that varies in abundance throughout the range of the parental distribution. there is variable unidirectional introgression across loci and sites of a. palmata genes flowing into a. cervicornis. here we examine the efficacy of prezygotic reproductive isolating mechanisms wi ...201222348010
coral life history and symbiosis: functional genomic resources for two reef building caribbean corals, acropora palmata and montastraea faveolata.scleractinian corals are the foundation of reef ecosystems in tropical marine environments. their great success is due to interactions with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (symbiodinium spp.), with which they are obligately symbiotic. to develop a foundation for studying coral biology and coral symbiosis, we have constructed a set of cdna libraries and generated and annotated ests from two species of corals, acropora palmata and montastraea faveolata.200818298846
global warming and coral reefs: modelling the effect of temperature on acropora palmata colony growth.data on colony growth of the branching coral acropora palmata from fringing reefs off discovery bay on the north coast of jamaica have been obtained over the period 2002-2007 using underwater photography and image analysis by both scuba and remotely using an rov incorporating twin lasers. growth modelling shows that while logarithmic growth is an approximate model for growth, a 3:3 rational polynomial function provides a significantly better fit to growth data for this coral species. over the pe ...200717631417
gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the acropora palmata transcriptome.cnidarians, including corals and anemones, offer unique insights into metazoan evolution because they harbor genetic similarities with vertebrates beyond that found in model invertebrates and retain genes known only from non-metazoans. cataloging genes expressed in acropora palmata, a foundation-species of reefs in the caribbean and western atlantic, will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of ecologically important traits in corals and comes at a time when sequencing efforts in other ...201122216101
identification of fast-evolving genes in the scleractinian coral acropora using comparative est analysis.to identify fast-evolving genes in reef-building corals, we performed direct comparative sequence analysis with expressed sequence tag (est) datasets from two acroporid species: acropora palmata from the caribbean sea and a. millepora from the great barrier reef in australia. comparison of 589 independent sequences from 1,421 a. palmata contigs, with 10,247 a. millepora contigs resulted in the identification of 196 putative homologues. most of the homologous pairs demonstrated high amino acid si ...201121701682
coral reefs and residents of the u.s. virgin islands: a relationship of knowledge, outdoor activities and stewardship.to test the hypotheses that u.s. virgin islanders' knowledge about local coral reefs is correlated with behavior, and that different sociological groups of residents have different patterns of knowledge and behavior, a mixed approach to surveying residents was used: (1) personal interviews were held in public locations and (2) an online version of the survey was administered to residents of the u.s. virgin islands. from july-october 2008,462 residents over 18 years old were surveyed. results ind ...201021299104
ocean acidification compromises recruitment success of the threatened caribbean coral acropora palmata.ocean acidification (oa) refers to the ongoing decline in oceanic ph resulting from the uptake of atmospheric co(2). mounting experimental evidence suggests that oa will have negative consequences for a variety of marine organisms. whereas the effect of oa on the calcification of adult reef corals is increasingly well documented, effects on early life history stages are largely unknown. coral recruitment, which necessitates successful fertilization, larval settlement, and postsettlement growth a ...201021059900
bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.coral animals harbor diverse microorganisms in their tissues, including archaea, bacteria, viruses, and zooxanthellae. the extent to which coral-bacterial associations are specific and the mechanisms for their maintenance across generations in the environment are unknown. the high diversity of bacteria in adult coral colonies has made it challenging to identify species-specific patterns. localization of bacteria in gametes and larvae of corals presents an opportunity for determining when bacteri ...201020526374
development and heat stress-induced transcriptomic changes during embryogenesis of the scleractinian coral acropora palmata.projected elevation of seawater temperatures poses a threat to the reproductive success of caribbean reef-building corals that have planktonic development during the warmest months of the year. this study examined the transcriptomic changes that occurred during embryonic and larval development of the elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, at a non-stressful temperature (28°c) and further assessed the effects of two elevated temperatures (30°c and 31.5°c) on these expression patterns. using cdna microa ...201021798197
elevated temperature affects development, survivorship, and settlement of the elkhorn coral, acropora palmata (lamarck 1816).elevated seawater temperatures during the late summer have the potential to negatively affect the development and survivorship of the larvae of reef corals that are reproductive during that time of year. acropora palmata, a major caribbean hermatype, reproduces annually during august and september. a. palmata populations have severely declined over the past three decades, and recovery will require high recruitment rates. such recruitment will be limited if larval supply is reduced by elevated te ...200920040751
long-wavelength photosensitivity in coral planula larvae.light influences the swimming behavior and settlement of the planktonic planula larvae of coral, but little is known regarding the photosensory biology of coral at this or any life-history stage. here we used changes in the electrical activity of coral planula tissue upon light flashes to investigate the photosensitivity of the larvae. recordings were made from five species: two whose larvae are brooded and contain algal symbionts (porites astreoides and agaricia agaricites), and three whose lar ...201222589399
preserving and using germplasm and dissociated embryonic cells for conserving caribbean and pacific coral.coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented degradation due to human activities, and protecting specific reef habitats may not stop this decline, because the most serious threats are global (i.e., climate change), not local. however, ex situ preservation practices can provide safeguards for coral reef conservation. specifically, modern advances in cryobiology and genome banking could secure existing species and genetic diversity until genotypes can be introduced into rehabilitated habitats. we as ...201222413020
restricted gene flow in the caribbean staghorn coral acropora cervicornis: implications for the recovery of endangered reefs.coral reef conservation requires information about the distance over which healthy reefs can rescue damaged reefs through input of coral larvae. this information is desperately needed in the caribbean where the 2 dominant shallow water corals acropora cervicornis and acropora palmata have suffered unprecedented declines. here we compare the population genetic structure in the staghorn coral a. cervicornis across the greater caribbean using dna sequence data from 1 mitochondrial and 3 nuclear gen ...200717158464
bacterial community structure associated with white band disease in the elkhorn coral acropora palmata determined using culture-independent 16s rrna techniques.culture-independent molecular (16s ribosomal rna) techniques showed distinct differences in bacterial communities associated with white band disease (wbd) type i and healthy elkhorn coral acropora palmata. differences were apparent at all levels, with a greater diversity present in tissues of diseased colonies. the bacterial community associated with remote, non-diseased coral was distinct from the apparently healthy tissues of infected corals several cm from the disease lesion. this demonstrate ...200616703769
regionally isolated populations of an imperiled caribbean coral, acropora palmata.the movements of larvae between marine populations are difficult to follow directly and have been the subject of much controversy, especially in the caribbean. the debate centres on the degree to which populations are demographically open, such that depleted populations can be replenished by recruitment from distant healthy populations, or demographically closed and thus in need of local management. given the depressed state of many tropical reef populations, the understanding of these movements ...200515813778
physical and mechanical properties evaluation of acropora palmata coralline species for bone substitution applications.the search for ideal materials for bone substitution has been a challenge for many decades. numerous natural and synthetic materials have been studied. for this application, exoskeletons of coral have been considered a good alternative given its tendency to resorption, biocompatibility and similarity to the mineral bone phase. very few studies of these materials consider a detailed analysis of the structure-property relationship. the purpose of this work was to carry out the microstructural char ...200215348605
acclimatization to high-variance habitats does not enhance physiological tolerance of two key caribbean corals to future temperature and ph.corals are acclimatized to populate dynamic habitats that neighbour coral reefs. habitats such as seagrass beds exhibit broad diel changes in temperature and ph that routinely expose corals to conditions predicted for reefs over the next 50-100 years. however, whether such acclimatization effectively enhances physiological tolerance to, and hence provides refuge against, future climate scenarios remains unknown. also, whether corals living in low-variance habitats can tolerate present-day high-v ...201627194698
reef-scale trends in florida acropora spp. abundance and the effects of population enhancement.since the listing of acropora palmata and a. cervicornis under the us endangered species act in 2006, increasing investments have been made in propagation of listed corals (primarily a. cervicornis, a. palmata to a much lesser extent) in offshore coral nurseries and outplanting cultured fragments to reef habitats. this investment is superimposed over a spatiotemporal patchwork of ongoing disturbances (especially storms, thermal bleaching, and disease) as well as the potential for natural populat ...201627703862
restoration of coral populations in light of genetic diversity estimates.due to the importance of preserving the genetic integrity of populations, strategies to restore damaged coral reefs should attempt to retain the allelic diversity of the disturbed population; however, genetic diversity estimates are not available for most coral populations. to provide a generalized estimate of genetic diversity (in terms of allelic richness) of scleractinian coral populations, the literature was surveyed for studies describing the genetic structure of coral populations using mic ...200922833700
the host transcriptome remains unaltered during the establishment of coral-algal symbioses.coral reefs are based on the symbiotic relationship between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus symbiodinium. we followed gene expression of coral larvae of acropora palmata and montastraea faveolata after exposure to symbiodinium strains that differed in their ability to establish symbioses. we show that the coral host transcriptome remains almost unchanged during infection by competent symbionts, but is massively altered by symbionts that fail to establish symbioses. our dat ...200919317843
temperature-dependent inhibition of opportunistic vibrio pathogens by native coral commensal bacteria.bacteria living within the surface mucus layer of corals compete for nutrients and space. a number of stresses affect the outcome of this competition. the interactions between native microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens largely determine the coral holobiont's overall health and fitness. in this study, we tested the hypothesis that commensal bacteria isolated from the mucus layer of a healthy elkhorn coral, acropora palmata, are capable of inhibition of opportunistic pathogens, vibrio shilo ...201424370863
use of quantitative real-time pcr for direct detection of serratia marcescens in marine and other aquatic environments.serratia marcescens is the etiological agent of acroporid serratiosis, a distinct form of white pox disease in the threatened coral acropora palmata. the pathogen is commonly found in untreated human waste in the florida keys, which may contaminate both nearshore and offshore waters. currently there is no direct method for detection of this bacterium in the aquatic or reef environment, and culture-based techniques may underestimate its abundance in marine waters. a quantitative real-time pcr ass ...201424375136
culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses reveal no prokaryotic community shifts or recovery of serratia marcescens in acropora palmata with white pox disease.recently, the etiological agent of white pox (wp) disease, also known as acroporid serratiosis, in the endangered coral acropora palmata is the enteric bacterium serratia marcescens with the source being localized sewage release onto coastal coral reef communities. here, we show that both culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches could not recover this bacterium from samples of tissue and mucus from a. palmata colonies affected by wp disease in the bahamas, or seawater collected adjac ...201424597458
interactions between the tropical sea anemone aiptasia pallida and serratia marcescens, an opportunistic pathogen of corals.coral reefs are under increasing stress caused by global and local environmental changes, which are thought to increase the susceptibility of corals to opportunistic pathogens. in the absence of an easily culturable model animal, the understanding of the mechanisms of disease progression in corals remains fairly limited. in the present study, we tested the susceptibility of the tropical sea anemone aiptasia pallida to an opportunistic coral pathogen (serratia marcescens). a. pallida was suscepti ...201424983533
shifting white pox aetiologies affecting acropora palmata in the florida keys, 1994-2014.we propose 'the moving target hypothesis' to describe the aetiology of a contemporary coral disease that differs from that of its historical disease state. hitting the target with coral disease aetiology is a complex pursuit that requires understanding of host and environment, and may lack a single pathogen solution. white pox disease (wpx) affects the caribbean coral acropora palmata. acroporid serratiosis is a form of wpx for which the bacterial pathogen (serratia marcescens) has been establis ...201626880837
effects of temperature, nutrients, organic matter and coral mucus on the survival of the coral pathogen, serratia marcescens pdl100.serratia marcescens is an enteric bacterium that causes white pox disease in elkhorn coral, acropora palmata; however, it remains unclear if the pathogenic strain has adapted to seawater or if it requires a host or reservoir for survival. to begin to address this fundamental issue, the persistence of strain pdl100 was compared among seawater and coral mucus microcosms. median survival time across all conditions ranged from a low of 15 h in natural seawater [with a first-order decay constant (k) ...201020406294
members of native coral microbiota inhibit glycosidases and thwart colonization of coral mucus by an opportunistic pathogen.the outcome of the interactions between native commensal microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens is crucial to the health of the coral holobiont. during the establishment within the coral surface mucus layer, opportunistic pathogens, including a white pox pathogen serratia marcescens pdl100, compete with native bacteria for available nutrients. both commensals and pathogens employ glycosidases and n-acetyl-glucosaminidase to utilize components of coral mucus. this study tested the hypothesis ...201323254513
characterization of the gaca-dependent surface and coral mucus colonization by an opportunistic coral pathogen serratia marcescens pdl100.opportunistic pathogens rely on global regulatory systems to assess the environment and to control virulence and metabolism to overcome host defenses and outcompete host-associated microbiota. in gammaproteobacteria, gacs/gaca is one such regulatory system. gaca orthologs direct the expression of the csr (rsm) small regulatory rnas, which through their interaction with the rna-binding protein csra (rsma), control genes with functions in carbon metabolism, motility, biofilm formation, and virulen ...201323278392
draft genome sequence of halomonas meridiana r1t3 isolated from the surface microbiota of the caribbean elkhorn coral acropora palmata.members of the gammaproteobacterial genus halomonas are common in marine environments. halomonas and other members of the oceanospirillales have recently been identified as prominent members of the surface microbiota of reef-building corals. halomonas meridiana strain r1t3 was isolated from the surface mucus layer of the scleractinian coral acropora palmata in 2005 from the florida keys. this strain was chosen for genome sequencing to provide insight into the role of commensal heterotrophic bact ...201526451236
characterization of a group of mites with unusual features from two coral genomes.miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (mites), which are common in eukaryotic genomes, are small non-coding elements that transpose by utilizing transposases encoded by autonomous transposons. recent genome-wide analyses and cross-mobilization assays have greatly improved our knowledge on mite proliferation, however, specific mechanisms for the origin and evolution of mites are still unclear.201020502527
high spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef.the main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. we tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. research was carried out in july 2006 at los col ...201020527463
zonation of uplifted pleistocene coral reefs on barbados, west indies.the coral species composition of uplifted pleistocene reefs on barbados is very similar to recent west indian reefs. acropora palmata, acropora cervicornis, and montastrea annularis are qtuantitatively the most important of the coral species.196717837159
calicoblastic neoplasms in acropora palmata, with a review of reports on anomalies of growth and form in corals.colonies of the elkhorn coral (acropora palmata), possessing raised, whitened, irregularly shaped skeletal protuberances, were discovered at carysfort reef and grecian rocks, key largo national marine sanctuary, key largo, fl. these lesions exhibited relatively rapid growth and spread along the branches, as polyps were overlaid by coenosteal skeletal material. histopathological examinations of the soft tissues surrounding and extending into the skeletal masses revealed proliferation of gastrovas ...19862871213
survival of hurricane-generated coral fragments and a disturbance model of reef calcification/growth rates.hurricane gerta, with winds reaching 150 km/h, crossed the belize barrier reef on september 18, 1978. breakage and scouring of corals occurred in all zones of the reef to a depth of approximately 25 m. survivorship of storm-generated coral fragments and detached colonies is strongly size dependent, conforming to the power function y=4.44x(0.66) where y is the percent of fragments and x is the fragment size. forty-six percent of detached acropora palmata branches, which are larger ([formula: see ...198028310039
[coral reefs of bocas del toro, panamá: iv. distribution, structure and conservation state of continental reefs of peninsula valiente].this is the fourth and last contribution describing the individual structure, distribution and conservation status of coral reefs in the province of bocas del toro. here we describe 14 new reefs along 129 km of coast from peninsula valiente to río calovébora. average live coral coverage for this region was 17.1% (+/- 3.6%), mainly in the western region of the peninsula (bahia bluefield and ensenada tobobe). coral cover increases with depth (> 5 m) for most species at several reefs and the corals ...200111795170
necrotic patches affect acropora palmata (scleractinia: acroporidae) in the mexican caribbean.an outbreak of necrotic patches was observed affecting acropora palmata in the mexican caribbean in the summer of 1999. this study documents the tissue loss produced by these patches. following a marked initial increase in the number of patches, there was a decrease in the appearance of new patches but the size of the patches increased throughout the study. in some cases patches expanded but in most cases they enlarged due to fusion of 2 or more patches. patches recovered but not sufficiently to ...200111804422
fragmentation in the branching coral acropora palmata (lamarck): growth, survivorship, and reproduction of colonies and fragments.acropora palmata, a branching coral abundant on shallow reef environments throughout the caribbean, is susceptible to physical disturbance caused by storms. accordingly, the survivorship and propagation of this species are tied to its capability to recover after fragmentation. fragments of a. palmata comprised 40% of ramets within populations that had experienced recent storms. while the survivorship of a. palmata fragments was not directly related to the size of fragments, removal of fragments ...200010958900
effects of microhabitat characteristics on the settlement and recruitment of a coral reef fish at two spatial scales.populations of fishes on coral reefs are replenished by the settlement of pelagic larvae to demersal populations. recruitment varies spatially and temporally and can exert strong effects on the dynamics of reef fish populations. this study examined the effect of microhabitat characteristics on small-scale and large-scale recruitment variation in the three-spot damselfish, stegastes planifrons (cuvier). comparison of 0.25-m(2) quadrats occupied by three-spots with randomly sampled null quadrats s ...199528306807
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