Project description:The health of coral reef has declined significantly around the world due to the impact of human activities and natural environment changes, and corals have to develop effective resistance mechanisms to survive. In this study, we examined the physiological characteristics and Symbiodiniaceae types of four dominant scleractinian corals in the reefs at the Wuzhizhou Island (WZZ) in South China Sea. The water environmental conditions are complex on the north side of WZZ due to regional geography and tourism development, and all corals had their unique physiological conditions and Symbiodiniaceae types. For all corals of this study, the rETRm ax and protein content were significantly lower and the SOD enzyme activity was significantly higher in the north than in the south. Interestingly, ITS2 genotyping showed that Galaxea fascicularis contained dominant Symbiodiniaceae either genotype C21 or D1a depending on the regional environmental stress, and had stronger heterotrophy than the other three coral species. In addition, the light use efficiency of the dominant Symbiodiniaceae type C1 for Pocillopora verrucosa was significantly lower in the north and the half saturating irradiance was stable. Besides, Montipora truncata and P. verrucosa increased their density of the symbiotic zooxanthella C1 in the north to offset the decline of photosynthetic efficiency and thus supply energy. For Porites lutea and G. fascicularis, their half saturating irradiance declined sharply in the north, where P. lutea resorted to heterotrophic feeding to balance the energy budget when the number of zooxanthellas fell short and G. fascicularis reduced its energy reserve significantly when the energy source was limited. We thus demonstrated the differences in the physiological responses and energy metabolism strategies between the zooxanthella and the host coral of the four reef-building coral species under the stress of complex water environment on the north side of WZZ. The corals were found to cope with natural and anthropogenic stressors by adjusting the nutrient input sources and the energy structure metabolism of coral hosts or adapting to more sustainable relationship with Symbiodiniaceae clades. The corals exhibited their capacity against long-term disturbances by developing their own successful resistance mechanisms at symbiotic relationship and energy metabolism level.
Project description:The success of coral reef ecosystems largely depends on mutualistic symbiosis between scleractinian corals and the dinoflagellate photosymbiont Symbiodinium spp. However, further investigation is needed to elucidate the flexibility of coral-algae associations in response to environmental changes. In this study, we applied a molecular method (high-throughput internal transcribed spacer 2 region of ribosomal RNA gene amplicon sequencing) to explore diversity and flexibility of Symbiodinium associated with Galaxea fascicularis, an ecologically important scleractinian coral species collected at five locations around Hainan Island, South China Sea. The results revealed a high diversity of Symbiodinium subclades with C2r and D17 being dominant in G. fascicularis. Clade D Symbiodinium occurred most frequently in habitats where the annual average sea surface temperatures are the highest, suggesting that temperature is an important factor in determining Symbiodinium D abundance in G. fascicularis. The distribution of coral-Symbiodinium associations are possibly mediated by trade-off mechanisms which change the relative abundance of Symbiodinium clades/subclades under different environmental conditions. These findings provide further evidence that reef-building corals such as G. fascicularis can shuffle their symbionts to cope with environmental changes, and have implications for our understanding of the ecology of flexible coral-algal symbiosis.
Project description:Reef-building corals form a complex consortium with photosynthetic algae in the family Symbiodiniaceae and bacteria, collectively termed the coral holobiont. These bacteria are hypothesized to be involved in the stress resistance of the coral holobiont, but their functional roles remain largely elusive. Here, we show that cultured Symbiodiniaceae algae isolated from the reef-building coral Galaxea fascicularis are associated with novel bacteria affiliated with the family Flavobacteriaceae Antibiotic treatment eliminated the bacteria from cultured Symbiodiniaceae, resulting in a decreased maximum quantum yield of PSII (variable fluorescence divided by maximum fluorescence [Fv/Fm]) and an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) under thermal and light stresses. We then isolated this bacterial strain, named GF1. GF1 inoculation in the antibiotic-treated Symbiodiniaceae cultures restored the Fv/Fm and reduced the ROS production. Furthermore, we found that GF1 produces the carotenoid zeaxanthin, which possesses potent antioxidant activity. Zeaxanthin supplementation to cultured Symbiodiniaceae ameliorated the Fv/Fm and ROS production, suggesting that GF1 mitigates thermal and light stresses in cultured Symbiodiniaceae via zeaxanthin production. These findings could advance our understanding of the roles of bacteria in Symbiodiniaceae and the coral holobiont, thereby contributing to the development of novel approaches toward coral protection through the use of symbiotic bacteria and their metabolites.IMPORTANCE Occupying less than 1% of the seas, coral reefs are estimated to harbor ?25% of all marine species. However, the destruction of coral reefs has intensified in the face of global climate changes, such as rising seawater temperatures, which induce the overproduction of reactive oxygen species harmful to corals. Although reef-building corals form complex consortia with bacteria and photosynthetic endosymbiotic algae of the family Symbiodiniaceae, the functional roles of coral-associated bacteria remain largely elusive. By manipulating the Symbiodiniaceae bacterial community, we demonstrated that a bacterium that produces an antioxidant carotenoid could mitigate thermal and light stresses in cultured Symbiodiniaceae isolated from a reef-building coral. Therefore, this study illuminates the unexplored roles of coral-associated bacteria under stressful conditions.
| S-EPMC6974559 | BioStudies
Project description:Bacterial communities of Galaxea fascicularis in Hainan Island
Project description:In the South China Sea, coastal eutrophication in the Beibu Gulf has seriously threatened reef habitats by subjecting corals to chronic physiological stress. To determine how coral holobionts may tolerate such conditions, we examined the transcriptomes of healthy colonies of the galaxy coral Galaxea fascicularis and its endosymbiont Symbiodinium from two reef sites experiencing pristine or eutrophied nutrient regimes. We identified 236 and 205 genes that were differentially expressed in eutrophied hosts and symbionts, respectively. Both gene sets included pathways related to stress responses and metabolic interactions. An analysis of genes originating from each partner revealed striking metabolic integration with respect to vitamins, cofactors, amino acids, fatty acids, and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. The expression levels of these genes supported the existence of a continuum of mutualism in this coral-algal symbiosis. Additionally, large sets of transcription factors, cell signal transduction molecules, biomineralization components, and galaxin-related proteins were expanded in G. fascicularis relative to other coral species.
Project description:In this study, the complete mitogenome sequence of Galaxy Coral, <i>Galaxea fascicularis</i> (Cnidaria: Oculinidae), has been sequenced by next-generation sequencing method. The overall base composition of <i>Galaxea fascicularis</i> mitogenome is 24.9% for A, 14.0% for C, 24.3% for G and 36.8% for T and has low GC content of 38.3%. The assembled mitogenome, consisting of 18 751 bp, has unique 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), three transfer RNAs and two ribosomal RNAs genes. The <i>G. fascicularis</i> mitogenome has the common mitogenome gene organization and feature of scleractinian coral. Among 13 PCGs, ND5 gene is interrupted by group I intron (12?022?bp). There are 12 genes embedded in ND5 group I intron (tRNA-Leu, ND1, CYTB, ND2, ND6, ATP6, ND4, 12S rRNA, COX3, COX2, ND4L and ND3). The complete mitogenome provides essential and important DNA molecular data for further phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis for stony coral.
Project description:The symbiosis between cnidarian hosts and photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae (i.e., zooxanthellae) provides the energy foundation of coral reef ecosystems in oligotrophic waters. The structure of symbiont biota and the dominant species of algal symbiont partly shape the environmental adaptability of coral symbiotes. In this study, the algal symbiont cells were isolated from the tentacles of <i>Galaxea fascicularis</i>, a hermatypic coral with obvious differentiation in heat resistance, and were cultured <i>in vitro</i> with an improved L1 medium. An algal monoclonal cell line was established using separated algal culture drops and soft agar plating method, and named by GF19C1 as it was identified as <i>Cladocopium</i> sp. C1 (Symbiodiniaceae) based on its ITS1, ITS2, and the non-coding region of the plastid psbA minicircle (<i>psbA</i> <sup><i>ncr</i></sup> ) sequences. Most GF19C1 cells were at the coccoid stage of the gymnodinioid, their markedly thickened (ca. two times) cell wall suggests that they developed into vegetative cysts and have sexual and asexual reproductive potential. The average diameter of GF19C1 cells decreased significantly, probably due to the increasing mitotic rate. The chloroplasts volume density of GF19C1 was significantly lower than that of their symbiotic congeners, while the surface area density of thylakoids relative to volumes of chloroplasts was not significantly changed. The volume fraction of vacuoles increased by nearly fivefold, but there was no significant change in mitochondria and accumulation bodies. Light-temperature orthogonal experiments showed that, GF19C1 growth preferred the temperature 25 ± 1°C (at which it is maintained post-isolation) rather than 28 ± 1°C under the light intensity of 42 ± 2 or 62 ± 2 ?mol photons m<sup>-2</sup> s<sup>-1</sup>, indicating an inertia for temperature adaptation. The optimum salinity for GF19C1 growth ranged between 28-32 ppt. The monoclonal culture techniques established in this study were critical to clarify the physiological and ecological characteristics of various algal symbiont species, and will be instrumental to further reveal the roles of algal symbionts in the adaptive differentiation of coral-zooxanthellae holobionts in future studies.