WorldWideScience

Sample records for coral larval transcriptome

  1. Environmental factors limiting fertilisation and larval success in corals

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    Woods, Rachael M.; Baird, Andrew H.; Mizerek, Toni L.; Madin, Joshua S.

    2016-12-01

    Events in the early life history of reef-building corals, including fertilisation and larval survival, are susceptible to changes in the chemical and physical properties of sea water. Quantifying how changes in water quality affect these events is therefore important for understanding and predicting population establishment in novel and changing environments. A review of the literature identified that levels of salinity, temperature, pH, suspended sediment, nutrients and heavy metals affect coral early life-history stages to various degrees. In this study, we combined published experimental data to determine the relative importance of sea water properties for coral fertilisation success and larval survivorship. Of the water properties manipulated in experiments, fertilisation success was most sensitive to suspended sediment, copper, salinity, phosphate and ammonium. Larval survivorship was sensitive to copper, lead and salinity. A combined model was developed that estimated the joint probability of both fertilisation and larval survivorship in sea water with different chemical and physical properties. We demonstrated the combined model using water samples from Sydney and Lizard Island in Australia to estimate the likelihood of larvae surviving through both stages of development to settlement competency. Our combined model could be used to recommend targets for water quality in coastal waterways as well as to predict the potential for species to expand their geographical ranges in response to climate change.

  2. Chemical mediation of coral larval settlement by crustose coralline algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tebben, J; Motti, C A; Siboni, Nahshon; Tapiolas, D M; Negri, A P; Schupp, P J; Kitamura, Makoto; Hatta, Masayuki; Steinberg, P D; Harder, T

    2015-06-04

    The majority of marine invertebrates produce dispersive larvae which, in order to complete their life cycles, must attach and metamorphose into benthic forms. This process, collectively referred to as settlement, is often guided by habitat-specific cues. While the sources of such cues are well known, the links between their biological activity, chemical identity, presence and quantification in situ are largely missing. Previous work on coral larval settlement in vitro has shown widespread induction by crustose coralline algae (CCA) and in particular their associated bacteria. However, we found that bacterial biofilms on CCA did not initiate ecologically realistic settlement responses in larvae of 11 hard coral species from Australia, Guam, Singapore and Japan. We instead found that algal chemical cues induce identical behavioral responses of larvae as per live CCA. We identified two classes of CCA cell wall-associated compounds--glycoglycerolipids and polysaccharides--as the main constituents of settlement inducing fractions. These algae-derived fractions induce settlement and metamorphosis at equivalent concentrations as present in CCA, both in small scale laboratory assays and under flow-through conditions, suggesting their ability to act in an ecologically relevant fashion to steer larval settlement of corals. Both compound classes were readily detected in natural samples.

  3. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Polato

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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 cnidarians allow for multi-species comparisons. RESULTS: A cDNA library from a sample enriched for symbiont free larval tissue was sequenced on the 454 GS-FLX platform. Over 960,000 reads were obtained and assembled into 42,630 contigs. Annotation data was acquired for 57% of the assembled sequences. Analysis of the assembled sequences indicated that 83-100% of all A. palmata transcripts were tagged, and provided a rough estimate of the total number genes expressed in our samples (~18,000-20,000. The coral annotation data contained many of the same molecular components as in the Bilateria, particularly in pathways associated with oxidative stress and DNA damage repair, and provided evidence that homologs of p53, a key player in DNA repair pathways, has experienced selection along the branch separating Cnidaria and Bilateria. Transcriptome wide screens of paralog groups and transition/transversion ratios highlighted genes including: green fluorescent proteins, carbonic anhydrase, and oxidative stress proteins; and functional groups involved in protein and nucleic acid metabolism, and the formation of structural molecules. These results provide a starting point for study of adaptive evolution in corals. CONCLUSIONS: Currently available transcriptome data now make comparative studies of the mechanisms underlying coral's evolutionary success possible. Here we identified candidate genes that enable corals to maintain genomic integrity despite

  4. Coral host transcriptomic states are correlated with Symbiodinium genotypes

    KAUST Repository

    DeSalvo, Michael K.

    2010-03-01

    A mutualistic relationship between reef-building corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) forms the basis for the existence of coral reefs. Genotyping tools for Symbiodinium spp. have added a new level of complexity to studies concerning cnidarian growth, nutrient acquisition, and stress. For example, the response of the coral holobiont to thermal stress is connected to the host-Symbiodinium genotypic combination, as different partnerships can have different bleaching susceptibilities. In this study, we monitored Symbiodinium physiological parameters and profiled the coral host transcriptional responses in acclimated, thermally stressed, and recovered fragments of the coral Montastraea faveolata using a custom cDNA gene expression microarray. Interestingly, gene expression was more similar among samples with the same Symbiodinium content rather than the same experimental condition. In order to discount for host-genotypic effects, we sampled fragments from a single colony of M. faveolata containing different symbiont types, and found that the host transcriptomic states grouped according to Symbiodinium genotype rather than thermal stress. As the first study that links coral host transcriptomic patterns to the clade content of their Symbiodinium community, our results provide a critical step to elucidating the molecular basis of the apparent variability seen among different coral-Symbiodinium partnerships. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Coral host transcriptomic states are correlated with Symbiodinium genotypes.

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    DeSalvo, M K; Sunagawa, S; Fisher, P L; Voolstra, C R; Iglesias-Prieto, R; Medina, M

    2010-03-01

    A mutualistic relationship between reef-building corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) forms the basis for the existence of coral reefs. Genotyping tools for Symbiodinium spp. have added a new level of complexity to studies concerning cnidarian growth, nutrient acquisition, and stress. For example, the response of the coral holobiont to thermal stress is connected to the host-Symbiodinium genotypic combination, as different partnerships can have different bleaching susceptibilities. In this study, we monitored Symbiodinium physiological parameters and profiled the coral host transcriptional responses in acclimated, thermally stressed, and recovered fragments of the coral Montastraea faveolata using a custom cDNA gene expression microarray. Interestingly, gene expression was more similar among samples with the same Symbiodinium content rather than the same experimental condition. In order to discount for host-genotypic effects, we sampled fragments from a single colony of M. faveolata containing different symbiont types, and found that the host transcriptomic states grouped according to Symbiodinium genotype rather than thermal stress. As the first study that links coral host transcriptomic patterns to the clade content of their Symbiodinium community, our results provide a critical step to elucidating the molecular basis of the apparent variability seen among different coral-Symbiodinium partnerships.

  6. Larval connectivity across temperature gradients and its potential effect on heat tolerance in coral populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleypas, Joan A; Thompson, Diane M; Castruccio, Frederic S; Curchitser, Enrique N; Pinsky, Malin; Watson, James R

    2016-11-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly exposed to elevated temperatures that can cause coral bleaching and high levels of mortality of corals and associated organisms. The temperature threshold for coral bleaching depends on the acclimation and adaptation of corals to the local maximum temperature regime. However, because of larval dispersal, coral populations can receive larvae from corals that are adapted to very different temperature regimes. We combine an offline particle tracking routine with output from a high-resolution physical oceanographic model to investigate whether connectivity of coral larvae between reefs of different thermal regimes could alter the thermal stress threshold of corals. Our results suggest that larval transport between reefs of widely varying temperatures is likely in the Coral Triangle and that accounting for this connectivity may be important in bleaching predictions. This has important implications in conservation planning, because connectivity may allow some reefs to have an inherited heat tolerance that is higher or lower than predicted based on local conditions alone. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Larval retention and connectivity among populations of corals and reef fishes: history, advances and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, G. P.; Almany, G. R.; Russ, G. R.; Sale, P. F.; Steneck, R. S.; van Oppen, M. J. H.; Willis, B. L.

    2009-06-01

    The extent of larval dispersal on coral reefs has important implications for the persistence of coral reef metapopulations, their resilience and recovery from an increasing array of threats, and the success of protective measures. This article highlights a recent dramatic increase in research effort and a growing diversity of approaches to the study of larval retention within (self-recruitment) and dispersal among (connectivity) isolated coral reef populations. Historically, researchers were motivated by alternative hypotheses concerning the processes limiting populations and structuring coral reef assemblages, whereas the recent impetus has come largely from the need to incorporate dispersal information into the design of no-take marine protected area (MPA) networks. Although the majority of studies continue to rely on population genetic approaches to make inferences about dispersal, a wide range of techniques are now being employed, from small-scale larval tagging and paternity analyses, to large-scale biophysical circulation models. Multiple approaches are increasingly being applied to cross-validate and provide more realistic estimates of larval dispersal. The vast majority of empirical studies have focused on corals and fishes, where evidence for both extremely local scale patterns of self-recruitment and ecologically significant connectivity among reefs at scales of tens of kilometers (and in some cases hundreds of kilometers) is accumulating. Levels of larval retention and the spatial extent of connectivity in both corals and fishes appear to be largely independent of larval duration or reef size, but may be strongly influenced by geographic setting. It is argued that high levels of both self-recruitment and larval import can contribute to the resilience of reef populations and MPA networks, but these benefits will erode in degrading reef environments.

  8. Differential sensitivity of coral larvae to natural levels of ultraviolet radiation during the onset of larval competence.

    KAUST Repository

    Aranda, Manuel

    2011-07-01

    Scleractinian corals are the major builders of the complex structural framework of coral reefs. They live in tropical waters around the globe where they are frequently exposed to potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR). The eggs and early embryonic stages of some coral species are highly buoyant and remain near the sea surface for prolonged periods of time and may therefore be the most sensitive life stages with respect to UVR. Here, we analysed gene expression changes in five developmental stages of the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata to natural levels of UVR using high-density cDNA microarrays (10 930 clones). We found that larvae exhibit low sensitivity to natural levels of UVR during early development as reflected by comparatively few transcriptomic changes in response to UVR. However, we identified a time window of high UVR sensitivity that coincides with the motile planula stage and the onset of larval competence. These processes have been shown to be affected by UVR exposure, and the transcriptional changes we identified explain these observations well. Our analysis of differentially expressed genes indicates that UVR alters the expression of genes associated with stress response, the endoplasmic reticulum, Ca(2+) homoeostasis, development and apoptosis during the motile planula stage and affects the expression of neurogenesis-related genes that are linked to swimming and settlement behaviour at later stages. Taken together, our study provides further data on the impact of natural levels of UVR on coral larvae. Furthermore, our results might allow a better prediction of settlement and recruitment rates after coral spawning events if UVR climate data are taken into account.

  9. A Biophysical Model for Hawaiian Coral Reefs: Coupling Local Ecology, Larval Transport and Climate Change

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    Kapur, M. R.

    2016-02-01

    Simulative models of reef ecosystems have been used to evaluate ecological responses to a myriad of disturbance events, including fishing pressure, coral bleaching, invasion by alien species, and nutrient loading. The Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool (CORSET), has been developed and instantiated for both the Meso-American Reef (MAR) and South China Sea (SCS) regions. This model is novel in that it accounts for the many scales at which reef ecosystem processes take place; is comprised of a "bottom-up" structure wherein complex behaviors are not pre-programmed, but emergent and highly portable to new systems. Local-scale dynamics are coupled across regions through larval connectivity matrices, derived sophisticated particle transport simulations that include key elements of larval behavior. By this approach, we are able to directly evaluate some of the potential consequences of larval connectivity patterns across a range of spatial scales and under multiple climate scenarios. This work develops and applies the CORSET (Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool) to the Main Hawaiian Islands under a suite of climate and ecological scenarios. We introduce an adaptation constant into reef-building coral dynamics to simulate observed resiliencies to bleaching events. This presentation will share results from the model's instantiation under two Resource Concentration Pathway climate scenarios, with emphasis upon larval connectivity dynamics, emergent coral tolerance to increasing thermal anomalies, and patterns of spatial fishing closures. Results suggest that under a business-as-usual scenario, thermal tolerance and herbivore removal will have synergistic effects on reef resilience.

  10. Development and heat stress-induced transcriptomic changes during embryogenesis of the scleractinian coral Acropora palmata

    KAUST Repository

    Portune, Kevin J.

    2010-03-01

    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 microarrays, we compared expression levels of 2051 genes from early embryos and larvae at multiple developmental stages (including pre-blastula, blastula, gastrula, and planula stages) at each of the three temperatures. At 12 h post-fertilization in 28 °C treatments, genes involved in cell replication/cell division and transcription were up-regulated in A. palmata embryos, followed by a reduction in expression of these genes during later growth stages. From 24.5 to 131 h post-fertilization at 28 °C, A. palmata altered its transcriptome by up-regulating genes involved in protein synthesis and metabolism. Temperatures of 30 °C and 31.5 °C caused major changes to the A. palmata embryonic transcriptomes, particularly in the samples from 24.5 hpf post-fertilization, characterized by down-regulation of numerous genes involved in cell replication/cell division, metabolism, cytoskeleton, and transcription, while heat shock genes were up-regulated compared to 28 °C treatments. These results suggest that increased temperature may cause a breakdown in proper gene expression during development in A. palmata by down-regulation of genes involved in essential cellular processes, which may lead to the abnormal development and reduced survivorship documented in other studies. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Can benthic algae mediate larval behavior and settlement of the coral Acropora muricata?

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    Denis, V.; Loubeyres, M.; Doo, S. S.; de Palmas, S.; Keshavmurthy, S.; Hsieh, H. J.; Chen, C. A.

    2014-06-01

    The resilience of coral reefs relies significantly on the ability of corals to recover successfully in algal-dominated environments. Larval settlement is a critical but highly vulnerable stage in the early life history of corals. In this study, we analyzed how the presence of two upright fleshy algae, Sargassum mcclurei (SM) and Padina australis (PA), and one crustose coralline algae, Mesophyllum simulans (MS), affects the settlement of Acropora muricata larvae. Coral larvae were exposed to seawater flowing over these algae at two concentrations. Larval settlement and mortality were assessed daily through four variables related to their behavior: swimming, substratum testing, metamorphosis, and stresses. Temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, algal growth, and photosynthetic efficiency were monitored throughout the experiment. Results showed that A. muricata larvae can settle successfully in the absence of external stimuli (63 ± 6 % of the larvae settled in control treatments). While algae such as MS may stimulate substrate testing and settlement of larvae in the first day after competency, they ultimately had a lower settlement rate than controls. Fleshy algae such as PA, and in a lesser measure SM, induced more metamorphosis than controls and seemed to eventually stimulate settlement. A diverse combination of signals and/or modifications of microenvironments by algae and their associated microbial communities may explain the pattern observed in coral settlement. Overall, this study contributes significantly to the knowledge of the interaction between coral and algae, which is critical for the resilience of the reefs.

  12. Ocean acidification reduces coral recruitment by disrupting intimate larval-algal settlement interactions.

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    Doropoulos, Christopher; Ward, Selina; Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Mumby, Peter J

    2012-04-01

    Ecology Letters (2012) 15: 338-346 ABSTRACT: Successful recruitment in shallow reef ecosystems often involves specific cues that connect planktonic invertebrate larvae with particular crustose coralline algae (CCA) during settlement. While ocean acidification (OA) can reduce larval settlement and the abundance of CCA, the impact of OA on the interactions between planktonic larvae and their preferred settlement substrate are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that CO2 concentrations (800 and 1300 μatm) predicted to occur by the end of this century significantly reduce coral (Acropora millepora) settlement and CCA cover by ≥ 45%. The CCA important for inducing coral settlement (Titanoderma spp., Hydrolithon spp.) were the most deleteriously affected by OA. Surprisingly, the only preferred settlement substrate (Titanoderma) in the experimental controls was avoided by coral larvae as pCO2 increased, and other substrata selected. Our results suggest OA may reduce coral population recovery by reducing coral settlement rates, disrupting larval settlement behaviour, and reducing the availability of the most desirable coralline algal species for successful coral recruitment. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Embryogenesis and larval biology of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann I Larsson

    Full Text Available Cold-water coral reefs form spectacular and highly diverse ecosystems in the deep sea but little is known about reproduction, and virtually nothing about the larval biology in these corals. This study is based on data from two locations of the North East Atlantic and documents the first observations of embryogenesis and larval development in Lophelia pertusa, the most common framework-building cold-water scleractinian. Embryos developed in a more or less organized radial cleavage pattern from ∼ 160 µm large neutral or negatively buoyant eggs, to 120-270 µm long ciliated planulae. Embryogenesis was slow with cleavage occurring at intervals of 6-8 hours up to the 64-cell stage. Genetically characterized larvae were sexually derived, with maternal and paternal alleles present. Larvae were active swimmers (0.5 mm s(-1 initially residing in the upper part of the water column, with bottom probing behavior starting 3-5 weeks after fertilization. Nematocysts had developed by day 30, coinciding with peak bottom-probing behavior, and possibly an indication that larvae are fully competent to settle at this time. Planulae survived for eight weeks under laboratory conditions, and preliminary results indicate that these planulae are planktotrophic. The late onset of competency and larval longevity suggests a high dispersal potential. Understanding larval biology and behavior is of paramount importance for biophysical modeling of larval dispersal, which forms the basis for predictions of connectivity among populations.

  14. Transcriptome of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) larval midgut in response to infection by Bacillus thuringiensis

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    Transcriptomic profiles of the lepidopteran insect pest Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth) were characterized in the larval midgut in response to infection by the biopesticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki. RNA-Seq approaches were used to define a set of 49,613 assembled transcript sequences, of which...

  15. Induction of larval metamorphosis of the coral Acropora millepora by tetrabromopyrrole isolated from a Pseudoalteromonas bacterium.

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    Jan Tebben

    Full Text Available The induction of larval attachment and metamorphosis of benthic marine invertebrates is widely considered to rely on habitat specific cues. While microbial biofilms on marine hard substrates have received considerable attention as specific signals for a wide and phylogenetically diverse array of marine invertebrates, the presumed chemical settlement signals produced by the bacteria have to date not been characterized. Here we isolated and fully characterized the first chemical signal from bacteria that induced larval metamorphosis of acroporid coral larvae (Acropora millepora. The metamorphic cue was identified as tetrabromopyrrole (TBP in four bacterial Pseudoalteromonas strains among a culture library of 225 isolates obtained from the crustose coralline algae Neogoniolithon fosliei and Hydrolithon onkodes. Coral planulae transformed into fully developed polyps within 6 h, but only a small proportion of these polyps attached to the substratum. The biofilm cell density of the four bacterial strains had no influence on the ratio of attached vs. non-attached polyps. Larval bioassays with ethanolic extracts of the bacterial isolates, as well as synthetic TBP resulted in consistent responses of coral planulae to various doses of TBP. The lowest bacterial density of one of the Pseudoalteromonas strains which induced metamorphosis was 7,000 cells mm(-2 in laboratory assays, which is on the order of 0.1-1% of the total numbers of bacteria typically found on such surfaces. These results, in which an actual cue from bacteria has been characterized for the first time, contribute significantly towards understanding the complex process of acroporid coral larval settlement mediated through epibiotic microbial biofilms on crustose coralline algae.

  16. Induction of larval metamorphosis of the coral Acropora millepora by tetrabromopyrrole isolated from a Pseudoalteromonas bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tebben, Jan; Tapiolas, Dianne M; Motti, Cherie A; Abrego, David; Negri, Andrew P; Blackall, Linda L; Steinberg, Peter D; Harder, Tilmann

    2011-04-29

    The induction of larval attachment and metamorphosis of benthic marine invertebrates is widely considered to rely on habitat specific cues. While microbial biofilms on marine hard substrates have received considerable attention as specific signals for a wide and phylogenetically diverse array of marine invertebrates, the presumed chemical settlement signals produced by the bacteria have to date not been characterized. Here we isolated and fully characterized the first chemical signal from bacteria that induced larval metamorphosis of acroporid coral larvae (Acropora millepora). The metamorphic cue was identified as tetrabromopyrrole (TBP) in four bacterial Pseudoalteromonas strains among a culture library of 225 isolates obtained from the crustose coralline algae Neogoniolithon fosliei and Hydrolithon onkodes. Coral planulae transformed into fully developed polyps within 6 h, but only a small proportion of these polyps attached to the substratum. The biofilm cell density of the four bacterial strains had no influence on the ratio of attached vs. non-attached polyps. Larval bioassays with ethanolic extracts of the bacterial isolates, as well as synthetic TBP resulted in consistent responses of coral planulae to various doses of TBP. The lowest bacterial density of one of the Pseudoalteromonas strains which induced metamorphosis was 7,000 cells mm(-2) in laboratory assays, which is on the order of 0.1-1% of the total numbers of bacteria typically found on such surfaces. These results, in which an actual cue from bacteria has been characterized for the first time, contribute significantly towards understanding the complex process of acroporid coral larval settlement mediated through epibiotic microbial biofilms on crustose coralline algae.

  17. Toward an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of barnacle larval settlement: A comparative transcriptomic approach

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Zhang-Fan

    2011-07-29

    Background: The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed biofouler and a model species in intertidal ecology and larval settlement studies. However, a lack of genomic information has hindered the comprehensive elucidation of the molecular mechanisms coordinating its larval settlement. The pyrosequencing-based transcriptomic approach is thought to be useful to identify key molecular changes during larval settlement. Methodology and Principal Findings: Using 454 pyrosequencing, we collected totally 630,845 reads including 215,308 from the larval stages and 415,537 from the adults; 23,451 contigs were generated while 77,785 remained as singletons. We annotated 31,720 of the 92,322 predicted open reading frames, which matched hits in the NCBI NR database, and identified 7,954 putative genes that were differentially expressed between the larval and adult stages. Of these, several genes were further characterized with quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization, revealing some key findings: 1) vitellogenin was uniquely expressed in late nauplius stage, suggesting it may be an energy source for the subsequent non-feeding cyprid stage; 2) the locations of mannose receptors suggested they may be involved in the sensory system of cyprids; 3) 20 kDa-cement protein homologues were expressed in the cyprid cement gland and probably function during attachment; and 4) receptor tyrosine kinases were expressed higher in cyprid stage and may be involved in signal perception during larval settlement. Conclusions: Our results provide not only the basis of several new hypotheses about gene functions during larval settlement, but also the availability of this large transcriptome dataset in B. amphitrite for further exploration of larval settlement and developmental pathways in this important marine species. © 2011 Chen et al.

  18. Larval fish dispersal in a coral-reef seascape

    KAUST Repository

    Almany, Glenn R.

    2017-05-23

    Larval dispersal is a critical yet enigmatic process in the persistence and productivity of marine metapopulations. Empirical data on larval dispersal remain scarce, hindering the use of spatial management tools in efforts to sustain ocean biodiversity and fisheries. Here we document dispersal among subpopulations of clownfish (Amphiprion percula) and butterflyfish (Chaetodon vagabundus) from eight sites across a large seascape (10,000 km2) in Papua New Guinea across 2 years. Dispersal of clownfish was consistent between years, with mean observed dispersal distances of 15 km and 10 km in 2009 and 2011, respectively. A Laplacian statistical distribution (the dispersal kernel) predicted a mean dispersal distance of 13–19 km, with 90% of settlement occurring within 31–43 km. Mean dispersal distances were considerably greater (43–64 km) for butterflyfish, with kernels declining only gradually from spawning locations. We demonstrate that dispersal can be measured on spatial scales sufficient to inform the design of and test the performance of marine reserve networks.

  19. First description of the neuro-anatomy of a larval coral reef fish Amphiprion ocellaris.

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    Jacob, H; Metian, M; Brooker, R M; Duran, E; Nakamura, N; Roux, N; Masanet, P; Soulat, O; Lecchini, D

    2016-09-01

    The present study described the neuro-anatomy of a larval coral reef fish Amphiprion ocellaris and hypothesized that morphological changes during the transition from the oceanic environment to a reef environment (i.e. recruitment) have the potential to be driven by changes to environmental conditions and associated changes to cognitive requirements. Quantitative comparisons were made of the relative development of three specific brain areas (telencephalon, mesencephalon and cerebellum) between 6 days post-hatch (dph) larvae (oceanic phase) and 11 dph (at reef recruitment). The results showed that 6 dph larvae had at least two larger structures (telencephalon and mesencephalon) than 11 dph larvae, while the size of cerebellum remained identical. These results suggest that the structure and organization of the brain may reflect the cognitive demands at every stage of development. This study initiates analysis of the relationship between behavioural ecology and neuroscience in coral reef fishes. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  20. El Niño and coral larval dispersal across the eastern Pacific marine barrier

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    Wood, S.; Baums, I. B.; Paris, C. B.; Ridgwell, A.; Kessler, W. S.; Hendy, E. J.

    2016-08-01

    More than 5,000 km separates the frequently disturbed coral reefs of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) from western sources of population replenishment. It has been hypothesized that El Niño events facilitate eastward dispersal across this East Pacific Barrier (EPB). Here we present a biophysical coral larval dispersal model driven by 14.5 years of high-resolution surface ocean current data including the extreme 1997-1998 El Niño. We find no eastward cross-EPB connections over this period, which implies that ETP coral populations decimated by the 1998 bleaching event can only have recovered from eastern Pacific sources, in congruence with genetic data. Instead, rare connections between eastern and central Pacific reefs are simulated in a westward direction. Significant complexity and variability in the surface flows transporting larvae mean that generalized upper-ocean circulation patterns are poor descriptors of inter-regional connectivity, complicating the assessment of how climate change will impact coral gene flow Pacific wide.

  1. Crustose coralline algae and a cnidarian neuropeptide trigger larval settlement in two coral reef sponges.

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    Steve Whalan

    Full Text Available In sessile marine invertebrates, larval settlement is fundamental to population maintenance and persistence. Cues contributing to the settlement choices and metamorphosis of larvae have important implications for the success of individuals and populations, but cues mediating larval settlement for many marine invertebrates are largely unknown. This study assessed larval settlement in two common Great Barrier Reef sponges, Coscinoderma matthewsi and Rhopaloeides odorabile, to cues that enhance settlement and metamorphosis in various species of scleractinian coral larvae. Methanol extracts of the crustose coralline algae (CCA, Porolithon onkodes, corresponding to a range of concentrations, were used to determine the settlement responses of sponge larvae. Cnidarian neuropeptides (GLW-amide neuropeptides were also tested as a settlement cue. Settlement in both sponge species was approximately two-fold higher in response to live chips of CCA and optimum concentrations of CCA extract compared to 0.2 µm filtered sea water controls. Metamorphosis also increased when larvae were exposed to GLW-amide neuropeptides; R. odorabile mean metamorphosis reached 42.0±5.8% compared to 16.0±2.4% in seawater controls and in C. matthewsi mean metamorphosis reached 68.3±5.4% compared to 36.7±3.3% in seawater controls. These results demonstrate the contributing role chemosensory communication plays in the ability of sponge larvae to identify suitable habitat for successful recruitment. It also raises the possibility that larvae from distinct phyla may share signal transduction pathways involved in metamorphosis.

  2. Crustose coralline algae and a cnidarian neuropeptide trigger larval settlement in two coral reef sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whalan, Steve; Webster, Nicole S; Negri, Andrew P

    2012-01-01

    In sessile marine invertebrates, larval settlement is fundamental to population maintenance and persistence. Cues contributing to the settlement choices and metamorphosis of larvae have important implications for the success of individuals and populations, but cues mediating larval settlement for many marine invertebrates are largely unknown. This study assessed larval settlement in two common Great Barrier Reef sponges, Coscinoderma matthewsi and Rhopaloeides odorabile, to cues that enhance settlement and metamorphosis in various species of scleractinian coral larvae. Methanol extracts of the crustose coralline algae (CCA), Porolithon onkodes, corresponding to a range of concentrations, were used to determine the settlement responses of sponge larvae. Cnidarian neuropeptides (GLW-amide neuropeptides) were also tested as a settlement cue. Settlement in both sponge species was approximately two-fold higher in response to live chips of CCA and optimum concentrations of CCA extract compared to 0.2 µm filtered sea water controls. Metamorphosis also increased when larvae were exposed to GLW-amide neuropeptides; R. odorabile mean metamorphosis reached 42.0±5.8% compared to 16.0±2.4% in seawater controls and in C. matthewsi mean metamorphosis reached 68.3±5.4% compared to 36.7±3.3% in seawater controls. These results demonstrate the contributing role chemosensory communication plays in the ability of sponge larvae to identify suitable habitat for successful recruitment. It also raises the possibility that larvae from distinct phyla may share signal transduction pathways involved in metamorphosis.

  3. Tribolium castaneum larval gut transcriptome and proteome: A resource for the study of the coleopteran gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Kaley; Lorenzen, Marcé D; Hiromasa, Yasuaki; Tomich, John M; Oppert, Cris; Elpidina, Elena N; Vinokurov, Konstantin; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Fabrick, Jeff; Oppert, Brenda

    2009-08-01

    Tribolium castaneum is an important agricultural pest and an advanced genetic model for coleopteran insects. We have taken advantage of the recently acquired T. castaneum genome to identify T. castaneum genes and proteins in one of the more critical environmental interfaces of the insect, the larval alimentary tract. Genetic transcripts isolated from the T. castaneum larval gut were labeled and hybridized to a custom array containing oligonucleotides from predicted genes in the T. castaneum genome. Through a ranking procedure based on relative labeling intensity, we found that approximately 17.6% of the genes represented in the array were predicted to be highly expressed in gut tissue. Several genes were selected to compare relative expression levels in larval gut, head, or carcass tissues using quantitative real-time PCR, and expression levels were, with few exceptions, consistent with the gut rankings. In parallel with the microarrays, proteins extracted from the T. castaneum larval gut were subjected to proteomic analysis. Two-dimensional electrophoretic analysis combined with MALDI-TOF resulted in the identification of 37 of 88 selected protein samples. As an alternative strategy, one-dimensional electrophoretic separation of T. castaneum larval gut proteins followed by two-dimensional nano-HPLC and ESI-MS/MS resulted in the identification of 98 proteins. A comparison of the proteomic studies indicated that 16 proteins were commonly identified in both, whereas 80 proteins from the proteomic analyses corresponded to genes with gut rankings indicative of high expression in the microarray analysis. These data serve as a resource of T. castaneum transcripts and proteins in the larval gut and provide the basis for comparative transcriptomic and proteomic studies related to the gut of coleopteran insects.

  4. Tissue-Specific Transcriptome Profiling of Plutella Xylostella Third Instar Larval Midgut

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Xie, Yanyuan Lei, Wei Fu, Zhongxia Yang, Xun Zhu, Zhaojiang Guo, Qingjun Wu, Shaoli Wang, Baoyun Xu, Xuguo Zhou, Youjun Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The larval midgut of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, is a dynamic tissue that interfaces with a diverse array of physiological and toxicological processes, including nutrient digestion and allocation, xenobiotic detoxification, innate and adaptive immune response, and pathogen defense. Despite its enormous agricultural importance, the genomic resources for P. xylostella are surprisingly scarce. In this study, a Bt resistant P. xylostella strain was subjected to the in-depth transcriptome analysis to identify genes and gene networks putatively involved in various physiological and toxicological processes in the P. xylostella larval midgut.Using Illumina deep sequencing, we obtained roughly 40 million reads containing approximately 3.6 gigabases of sequence data. De novo assembly generated 63,312 ESTs with an average read length of 416bp, and approximately half of the P. xylostella sequences (45.4%, 28,768 showed similarity to the non-redundant database in GenBank with a cut-off E-value below 10-5. Among them, 11,092 unigenes were assigned to one or multiple GO terms and 16,732 unigenes were assigned to 226 specific pathways. In-depth analysis indentified genes putatively involved in insecticide resistance, nutrient digestion, and innate immune defense. Besides conventional detoxification enzymes and insecticide targets, novel genes, including 28 chymotrypsins and 53 ABC transporters, have been uncovered in the P. xylostella larval midgut transcriptome; which are potentially linked to the Bt toxicity and resistance. Furthermore, an unexpectedly high number of ESTs, including 46 serpins and 7 lysozymes, were predicted to be involved in the immune defense.As the first tissue-specific transcriptome analysis of P. xylostella, this study sheds light on the molecular understanding of insecticide resistance, especially Bt resistance in an agriculturally important insect pest, and lays the foundation for future functional genomics research. In

  5. Stepwise Evolution of Coral Biomineralization Revealed with Genome-Wide Proteomics and Transcriptomics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Takeuchi

    Full Text Available Despite the importance of stony corals in many research fields related to global issues, such as marine ecology, climate change, paleoclimatogy, and metazoan evolution, very little is known about the evolutionary origin of coral skeleton formation. In order to investigate the evolution of coral biomineralization, we have identified skeletal organic matrix proteins (SOMPs in the skeletal proteome of the scleractinian coral, Acropora digitifera, for which large genomic and transcriptomic datasets are available. Scrupulous gene annotation was conducted based on comparisons of functional domain structures among metazoans. We found that SOMPs include not only coral-specific proteins, but also protein families that are widely conserved among cnidarians and other metazoans. We also identified several conserved transmembrane proteins in the skeletal proteome. Gene expression analysis revealed that expression of these conserved genes continues throughout development. Therefore, these genes are involved not only skeleton formation, but also in basic cellular functions, such as cell-cell interaction and signaling. On the other hand, genes encoding coral-specific proteins, including extracellular matrix domain-containing proteins, galaxins, and acidic proteins, were prominently expressed in post-settlement stages, indicating their role in skeleton formation. Taken together, the process of coral skeleton formation is hypothesized as: 1 formation of initial extracellular matrix between epithelial cells and substrate, employing pre-existing transmembrane proteins; 2 additional extracellular matrix formation using novel proteins that have emerged by domain shuffling and rapid molecular evolution and; 3 calcification controlled by coral-specific SOMPs.

  6. Stepwise Evolution of Coral Biomineralization Revealed with Genome-Wide Proteomics and Transcriptomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Takeshi; Yamada, Lixy; Shinzato, Chuya; Sawada, Hitoshi; Satoh, Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of stony corals in many research fields related to global issues, such as marine ecology, climate change, paleoclimatogy, and metazoan evolution, very little is known about the evolutionary origin of coral skeleton formation. In order to investigate the evolution of coral biomineralization, we have identified skeletal organic matrix proteins (SOMPs) in the skeletal proteome of the scleractinian coral, Acropora digitifera, for which large genomic and transcriptomic datasets are available. Scrupulous gene annotation was conducted based on comparisons of functional domain structures among metazoans. We found that SOMPs include not only coral-specific proteins, but also protein families that are widely conserved among cnidarians and other metazoans. We also identified several conserved transmembrane proteins in the skeletal proteome. Gene expression analysis revealed that expression of these conserved genes continues throughout development. Therefore, these genes are involved not only skeleton formation, but also in basic cellular functions, such as cell-cell interaction and signaling. On the other hand, genes encoding coral-specific proteins, including extracellular matrix domain-containing proteins, galaxins, and acidic proteins, were prominently expressed in post-settlement stages, indicating their role in skeleton formation. Taken together, the process of coral skeleton formation is hypothesized as: 1) formation of initial extracellular matrix between epithelial cells and substrate, employing pre-existing transmembrane proteins; 2) additional extracellular matrix formation using novel proteins that have emerged by domain shuffling and rapid molecular evolution and; 3) calcification controlled by coral-specific SOMPs.

  7. Larval settlement preferences and post-settlement survival of the threatened Caribbean corals Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Paul, Valerie J.; Arnold, S. N.; Steneck, R. S.

    2010-03-01

    The settlement specificity of two threatened Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, was tested by measuring their rates of larval metamorphosis in response to crustose coralline algae (CCA) and other substrata. In the no-choice experiments, the coral larvae were placed in six treatments: filtered seawater (FSW), a fragment of biofilmed dead skeleton of A. palmata, or a fragment of one of four species of CCA ( Hydrolithon boergesenii, Porolithon pachydermum, Paragoniolithon solubile, and Titanoderma prototypum). Within each CCA treatment, there were three different substrata on which to settle and metamorphose: (1) the CCA surface, (2) the rock under the CCA, or (3) the plastic dish. The 5-day-old larvae of both A. palmata and A. cervicornis had similar rates of total metamorphosis (all substrata combined) in every treatment (excluding FSW) even in the absence of CCA. However, there were differences in larval behavior among the CCA species since the larvae settled and metamorphosed on different substrata in the presence of different CCA species. In the no-choice experiments the larvae of both corals had higher rates of metamorphosis on the top surfaces of H. boergesenii and/or T. prototypum than on P. pachydermum. In the choice experiments, the coral larvae were offered two species of CCA in the same dish. When given a choice, both species of coral larvae had more settlement and metamorphosis on the surface of H. boergesenii or T. prototypum or clean rock than onto the surface of P. solubile. After 6 weeks in the field, transplanted A. palmata recruits had approximately 15% survival on both T. prototypum and H. boergesenii, but A. cervicornis recruits only survived on T. prototypum (13%). Some, but not all, CCA species facilitated the larval settlement and post-settlement survival of these two threatened corals, highlighting the importance of benthic community composition for successful coral recruitment.

  8. Mediterranean versus Red sea corals facing climate change, a transcriptome analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maor-Landaw, Keren; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Karako-Lampert, Sarit; Salmon-Divon, Mali; Prada, Fiorella; Caroselli, Erik; Goffredo, Stefano; Falini, Giuseppe; Dubinsky, Zvy; Levy, Oren

    2017-02-01

    The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 that drives global warming and ocean acidification raises serious concerns regarding the future of corals, the main carbonate biomineralizers. Here we used transcriptome analysis to study the effect of long-term gradual temperature increase (annual rate), combined with lowered pH values, on a sub-tropical Red Sea coral, Stylophora pistillata, and on a temperate Mediterranean symbiotic coral Balanophyllia europaea. The gene expression profiles revealed a strong effect of both temperature increase and pH decrease implying for synergism response. The temperate coral, exposed to a twice as high range of seasonal temperature fluctuations than the Red Sea species, faced stress more effectively. The compensatory strategy for coping apparently involves deviating cellular resources into a massive up-regulation of genes in general, and specifically of genes involved in the generation of metabolic energy. Our results imply that sub-lethal, prolonged exposure to stress can stimulate evolutionary increase in stress resilience.

  9. Production of a reference transcriptome and transcriptomic database (PocilloporaBase for the cauliflower coral, Pocillopora damicornis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Traylor-Knowles Nikki

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Motivated by the precarious state of the world's coral reefs, there is currently a keen interest in coral transcriptomics. By identifying changes in coral gene expression that are triggered by particular environmental stressors, we can begin to characterize coral stress responses at the molecular level, which should lead to the development of more powerful diagnostic tools for evaluating the health of corals in the field. Furthermore, the identification of genetic variants that are more or less resilient in the face of particular stressors will help us to develop more reliable prognoses for particular coral populations. Toward this end, we performed deep mRNA sequencing of the cauliflower coral, Pocillopora damicornis, a geographically widespread Indo-Pacific species that exhibits a great diversity of colony forms and is able to thrive in habitats subject to a wide range of human impacts. Importantly, P. damicornis is particularly amenable to laboratory culture. We collected specimens from three geographically isolated Hawaiian populations subjected to qualitatively different levels of human impact. We isolated RNA from colony fragments ("nubbins" exposed to four environmental stressors (heat, desiccation, peroxide, and hypo-saline conditions or control conditions. The RNA was pooled and sequenced using the 454 platform. Description Both the raw reads (n = 1, 116, 551 and the assembled contigs (n = 70, 786; mean length = 836 nucleotides were deposited in a new publicly available relational database called PocilloporaBase http://www.PocilloporaBase.org. Using BLASTX, 47.2% of the contigs were found to match a sequence in the NCBI database at an E-value threshold of ≤.001; 93.6% of those contigs with matches in the NCBI database appear to be of metazoan origin and 2.3% bacterial origin, while most of the remaining 4.1% match to other eukaryotes, including algae and amoebae. Conclusions P. damicornis now joins the handful of

  10. Transcriptomic responses to heat stress and bleaching in the elkhorn coral Acropora palmata

    KAUST Repository

    DeSalvo, MK

    2010-03-08

    The emergence of genomic tools for reef-building corals and symbiotic anemones comes at a time when alarming losses in coral cover are being observed worldwide. These tools hold great promise in elucidating novel and unforeseen cellular processes underlying the successful mutualism between corals and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts Symbiodinium spp. Since thermal stress triggers a breakdown in the symbiosis (coral bleaching), measuring the transcriptomic response to thermal stress-induced bleaching offers an extraordinary view of cellular processes that are specific to coral–algal symbioses. In the present study, we utilized a cDNA microarray containing 2059 genes of the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral Acropora palmata to identify genes that are differentially expressed upon thermal stress. Fragments from replicate colonies were exposed to elevated temperature for 2 d, and samples were frozen for microarray analysis after 24 and 48 h. Totals of 204 and 104 genes were differentially expressed in samples that were collected 1 and 2 d after thermal stress, respectively. Analysis of the differentially expressed genes indicates a cellular stress response in A. palmata involving (1) growth arrest, (2) chaperone activity, (3) nucleic acid stabilization and repair, and (4) removal of damaged macromolecules. Other differentially expressed processes include sensory perception, metabolite transfer between host and endosymbiont, nitric oxide signaling, and modifications to the actin cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix. The results are compared with those from a previous coral microarray study of thermal stress in Montastraea faveolata, and point to an overall evolutionary conserved bleaching response in scleractinian corals.

  11. Larval behaviours and their contribution to the distribution of the intertidal coral reef sponge Carteriospongia foliascens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Azmi Abdul Wahab

    Full Text Available Sponges (Phylum Porifera are an evolutionary and ecologically significant group; however information on processes influencing sponge population distributions is surprisingly limited. Carteriospongia foliascens is a common Indo-Pacific sponge, which has been reported from the intertidal to the mesophotic. Interestingly, the distribution of C. foliascens at inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef is restricted to the intertidal with no individuals evident in adjacent subtidal habitats. The abundance of C. foliascens and substrate availability was first quantified to investigate the influence of substrate limitation on adult distribution. Pre-settlement processes of larval spawning, swimming speeds, phototaxis, vertical migration, and settlement to intertidal and subtidal substrate cues were also quantified. Notably, suitable settlement substrate (coral rubble was not limiting in subtidal habitats. C. foliascens released up to 765 brooded larvae sponge(-1 day(-1 during the day, with larvae (80%±5.77 being negatively phototactic and migrating to the bottom within 40 minutes from release. Subsequently, larvae (up to 58.67%±2.91 migrated to the surface after the loss of the daylight cue (nightfall, and after 34 h post-release >98.67% (±0.67 of larvae had adopted a benthic habit regardless of light conditions. Intertidal and subtidal biofilms initiated similar settlement responses, inducing faster (as early 6 h post-release and more successful metamorphosis (>60% than unconditioned surfaces. C. foliascens has a high larval supply and larval behaviours that support recruitment to the subtidal. The absence of C. foliascens in subtidal habitats at inshore reefs is therefore proposed to be a potential consequence of post-settlement mortalities.

  12. The role of transcriptome resilience in resistance of corals to bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneca, Francois O; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2015-04-01

    Wild populations increasingly experience extreme conditions as climate change amplifies environmental variability. How individuals respond to environmental extremes determines the impact of climate change overall. The variability of response from individual to individual can represent the opportunity for natural selection to occur as a result of extreme conditions. Here, we experimentally replicated the natural exposure to extreme temperatures of the reef lagoon at Ofu Island (American Samoa), where corals can experience severe heat stress during midday low tide. We investigated the bleaching and transcriptome response of 20 Acropora hyacinthus colonies 5 and 20 h after exposure to control (29 °C) or heated (35 °C) conditions. We found a highly dynamic transcriptome response: 27% of the coral transcriptome was significantly regulated 1 h postheat exposure. Yet 15 h later, when heat-induced coral bleaching became apparent, only 12% of the transcriptome was differentially regulated. A large proportion of responsive genes at the first time point returned to control levels, others remained differentially expressed over time, while an entirely different subset of genes was successively regulated at the second time point. However, a noteworthy variability in gene expression was observed among individual coral colonies. Among the genes of which expression lingered over time, fast return to normal levels was associated with low bleaching. Colonies that maintained higher expression levels of these genes bleached severely. Return to normal levels of gene expression after stress has been termed transcriptome resilience, and in the case of some specific genes may signal the physiological health and response ability of individuals to environmental stress.

  13. Transcriptomic variation in a coral reveals pathways of clonal organisation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    K Bay, Line; Nielsen, Henrik Bjørn; Jarmer, Hanne Østergaard

    2009-01-01

    A microarray study was undertaken to examine the potential for clonal gene expression variation in a branching reef building coral, Acropora millepora. The role of small-scale gradients in light and water flow was examined by comparing gene expression levels between branch elevation (tip and base......) and position (centre and edge) of replicate coral colonies (n=3). Analyses of variance revealed that almost 60% of variation in gene expression was present between colonies and 34 genes were considered differentially expressed between colonies (minimum P=6.5 x 10(-4)). These genes are associated with energy...... of corymbose-like branching coral colonies such as A. millepora. Four genes were differentially expressed between the tip and base of branches (P=3.239 x 10(-4)) and were associated with lysosome lipase activity and fluorescence, suggesting that branch tips may encounter higher pathogen loads or levels...

  14. Coral-zooxanthellae meta-transcriptomics reveals integrated response to pollutant stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gust, Kurt A; Najar, Fares Z; Habib, Tanwir; Lotufo, Guilherme R; Piggot, Alan M; Fouke, Bruce W; Laird, Jennifer G; Wilbanks, Mitchell S; Rawat, Arun; Indest, Karl J; Roe, Bruce A; Perkins, Edward J

    2014-07-12

    Corals represent symbiotic meta-organisms that require harmonization among the coral animal, photosynthetic zooxanthellae and associated microbes to survive environmental stresses. We investigated integrated-responses among coral and zooxanthellae in the scleractinian coral Acropora formosa in response to an emerging marine pollutant, the munitions constituent, 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5 triazine (RDX; 5 day exposures to 0 (control), 0.5, 0.9, 1.8, 3.7, and 7.2 mg/L, measured in seawater). RDX accumulated readily in coral soft tissues with bioconcentration factors ranging from 1.1 to 1.5. Next-generation sequencing of a normalized meta-transcriptomic library developed for the eukaryotic components of the A. formosa coral holobiont was leveraged to conduct microarray-based global transcript expression analysis of integrated coral/zooxanthellae responses to the RDX exposure. Total differentially expressed transcripts (DET) increased with increasing RDX exposure concentrations as did the proportion of zooxanthellae DET relative to the coral animal. Transcriptional responses in the coral demonstrated higher sensitivity to RDX compared to zooxanthellae where increased expression of gene transcripts coding xenobiotic detoxification mechanisms (i.e. cytochrome P450 and UDP glucuronosyltransferase 2 family) were initiated at the lowest exposure concentration. Increased expression of these detoxification mechanisms was sustained at higher RDX concentrations as well as production of a physical barrier to exposure through a 40% increase in mucocyte density at the maximum RDX exposure. At and above the 1.8 mg/L exposure concentration, DET coding for genes involved in central energy metabolism, including photosynthesis, glycolysis and electron-transport functions, were decreased in zooxanthellae although preliminary data indicated that zooxanthellae densities were not affected. In contrast, significantly increased transcript expression for genes involved in cellular energy production

  15. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals

    KAUST Repository

    Yum, Lauren K.

    2017-07-19

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20 °C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studied gene expression of three deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, i.e. Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. Our analyses suggest that deep-sea coral employ mitochondrial hypometabolism and anaerobic glycolysis to manage low oxygen conditions present in the Red Sea. Notably, we found expression of genes related to surface cilia motion that presumably enhance small particle transport rates in the oligotrophic deep-sea environment. This is the first study to characterize transcriptomes and in situ gene expression for deep-sea corals. Our work offers several mechanisms by which deep-sea corals might cope with the distinct environmental conditions present in the Red Sea As such, our data provide direction for future research and further insight to organismal response of deep-sea coral to environmental change and ocean warming.

  16. Gene expression patterns during the early stages of chemically induced larval metamorphosis and settlement of the coral Acropora millepora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siboni, Nachshon; Abrego, David; Motti, Cherie A; Tebben, Jan; Harder, Tilmann

    2014-01-01

    The morphogenetic transition of motile coral larvae into sessile primary polyps is triggered and genetically programmed upon exposure to environmental biomaterials, such as crustose coralline algae (CCA) and bacterial biofilms. Although the specific chemical cues that trigger coral larval morphogenesis are poorly understood there is much more information available on the genes that play a role in this early life phase. Putative chemical cues from natural biomaterials yielded defined chemical samples that triggered different morphogenetic outcomes: an extract derived from a CCA-associated Pseudoalteromonas bacterium that induced metamorphosis, characterized by non-attached metamorphosed juveniles; and two fractions of the CCA Hydrolithon onkodes (Heydrich) that induced settlement, characterized by attached metamorphosed juveniles. In an effort to distinguish the genes involved in these two morphogenetic transitions, competent larvae of the coral Acropora millepora were exposed to these predictable cues and the expression profiles of 47 coral genes of interest (GOI) were investigated after only 1 hour of exposure using multiplex RT-qPCR. Thirty-two GOI were differentially expressed, indicating a putative role during the early regulation of morphogenesis. The most striking differences were observed for immunity-related genes, hypothesized to be involved in cell recognition and adhesion, and for fluorescent protein genes. Principal component analysis of gene expression profiles resulted in separation between the different morphogenetic cues and exposure times, and not only identified those genes involved in the early response but also those which influenced downstream biological changes leading to larval metamorphosis or settlement.

  17. Gene expression patterns during the early stages of chemically induced larval metamorphosis and settlement of the coral Acropora millepora.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nachshon Siboni

    Full Text Available The morphogenetic transition of motile coral larvae into sessile primary polyps is triggered and genetically programmed upon exposure to environmental biomaterials, such as crustose coralline algae (CCA and bacterial biofilms. Although the specific chemical cues that trigger coral larval morphogenesis are poorly understood there is much more information available on the genes that play a role in this early life phase. Putative chemical cues from natural biomaterials yielded defined chemical samples that triggered different morphogenetic outcomes: an extract derived from a CCA-associated Pseudoalteromonas bacterium that induced metamorphosis, characterized by non-attached metamorphosed juveniles; and two fractions of the CCA Hydrolithon onkodes (Heydrich that induced settlement, characterized by attached metamorphosed juveniles. In an effort to distinguish the genes involved in these two morphogenetic transitions, competent larvae of the coral Acropora millepora were exposed to these predictable cues and the expression profiles of 47 coral genes of interest (GOI were investigated after only 1 hour of exposure using multiplex RT-qPCR. Thirty-two GOI were differentially expressed, indicating a putative role during the early regulation of morphogenesis. The most striking differences were observed for immunity-related genes, hypothesized to be involved in cell recognition and adhesion, and for fluorescent protein genes. Principal component analysis of gene expression profiles resulted in separation between the different morphogenetic cues and exposure times, and not only identified those genes involved in the early response but also those which influenced downstream biological changes leading to larval metamorphosis or settlement.

  18. Larval dispersal and movement patterns of coral reef fishes, and implications for marine reserve network design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Alison L; Maypa, Aileen P; Almany, Glenn R; Rhodes, Kevin L; Weeks, Rebecca; Abesamis, Rene A; Gleason, Mary G; Mumby, Peter J; White, Alan T

    2015-11-01

    Well-designed and effectively managed networks of marine reserves can be effective tools for both fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Connectivity, the demographic linking of local populations through the dispersal of individuals as larvae, juveniles or adults, is a key ecological factor to consider in marine reserve design, since it has important implications for the persistence of metapopulations and their recovery from disturbance. For marine reserves to protect biodiversity and enhance populations of species in fished areas, they must be able to sustain focal species (particularly fishery species) within their boundaries, and be spaced such that they can function as mutually replenishing networks whilst providing recruitment subsidies to fished areas. Thus the configuration (size, spacing and location) of individual reserves within a network should be informed by larval dispersal and movement patterns of the species for which protection is required. In the past, empirical data regarding larval dispersal and movement patterns of adults and juveniles of many tropical marine species have been unavailable or inaccessible to practitioners responsible for marine reserve design. Recent empirical studies using new technologies have also provided fresh insights into movement patterns of many species and redefined our understanding of connectivity among populations through larval dispersal. Our review of movement patterns of 34 families (210 species) of coral reef fishes demonstrates that movement patterns (home ranges, ontogenetic shifts and spawning migrations) vary among and within species, and are influenced by a range of factors (e.g. size, sex, behaviour, density, habitat characteristics, season, tide and time of day). Some species move marine reserves in tropical marine ecosystems to maximise benefits for conservation and fisheries management for a range of taxa. We recommend that: (i) marine reserves should be more than twice the size of the home

  19. Large-scale, multidirectional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    KAUST Repository

    Williamson, David H.

    2016-11-15

    Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of larval connectivity across larger seascapes remain unknown. Here, we apply genetic parentage analysis to investigate larval dispersal patterns for two exploited coral reef groupers (Plectropomus maculatus and Plectropomus leopardus) within and among three clusters of reefs separated by 60–220 km within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. A total of 69 juvenile P. maculatus and 17 juvenile P. leopardus (representing 6% and 9% of the total juveniles sampled, respectively) were genetically assigned to parent individuals on reefs within the study area. We identified both short-distance larval dispersal within regions (200 m to 50 km) and long-distance, multidirectional dispersal of up to ~250 km among regions. Dispersal strength declined significantly with distance, with best-fit dispersal kernels estimating median dispersal distances of ~110 km for P. maculatus and ~190 km for P. leopardus. Larval exchange among reefs demonstrates that established reserves form a highly connected network and contribute larvae for the replenishment of fished reefs at multiple spatial scales. Our findings highlight the potential for long-distance dispersal in an important group of reef fishes, and provide further evidence that effectively protected reserves can yield recruitment and sustainability benefits for exploited fish populations.

  20. Effects of elevated ammonium on the transcriptome of the stony coral Pocillopora damicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Chao; Zhou, Zhi; Zhang, Yidan; Chen, Guangmei; Yu, Xiaopeng; Ni, Xingzhen; Tang, Jia; Huang, Bo

    2017-01-15

    The survival of corals worldwide has been seriously threatened by eutrophication events concomitant with the increase in ocean pollution. In the present study, whole transcriptomes of the stony coral Pocillopora damicornis exposed to elevated ammonium were sequenced. A total of 121,366,983 pair-end reads were obtained, and 209,337 genes were assembled, including 42,399 coral-derived and 54,874 zooxanthella-derived genes. Further, a comparison of the control versus stress group revealed 6572 differentially expressed genes. For 1015 significantly upregulated genes, 24 GO terms were overrepresented, among which 3 terms related to apoptosis and cell death induction included one caspase, five bcl-2-like proteins, and two tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member genes. For 5557 significantly downregulated genes, the top 10 overrepresented terms were related to metabolism and signal transduction. These results indicate that apoptosis and cell death could be induced under elevated ammonium, suggesting that metabolic regulation and signal transduction might be involved in the reconstruction of the coral-zooxanthellae symbiotic balance in the stony coral P. damicornis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A Study of the Pelagic Larval Duration of Acropora humilis, Coral Recruitment and Connectivity in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha

    2011-12-12

    Combined knowledge of the pelagic larval duration of coral species and coral recruitment patterns can provide evidence of inter-reef connectivity and indicate a reef’s ability to recover. We attempted to determine the maximum pelagic larval duration of Acropora humilis. Larvae were reared in a controlled environment unfavorable for settlement. The larvae lived in a pelagic state for a maximum of 29 days, although this is probably an underestimate of actual longevity for this species. Given the information available from the literature with respect to larval dispersal rates, it is not expected that larvae with this longevity will disperse further than 10-20 km from their natal reef, if at all. A long-term recruitment monitoring project was also set up on Abu Shosha Reef, which suffered nearly complete coral loss due to a bleaching event in summer of 2010. In April 2011, 60 settlement plates were placed on the reef. In July, a total of 102 living scleractinian recruits were counted on the plates. While pocilloporids were the most dominant recruits on the reef (57.8%), about 20.6% of living recruits belonged to Acroporidae, a family whose live cover on the reef is extremely low (0.67%). However, the overall mean density of recruits was very low (1.7 living recruits/100cm2) compared to similar studies around the world despite the spawning season having just ended. Fish surveys showed herbivore biomass to be very low compared to other reef systems in the world, but densities were significantly higher than another reef in the Red Sea with about 10 times more live coral cover. Recovery from bleaching for Abu Shosha and similar reefs in the region may be very slow relative to rates observed in other parts of the world if recruitment rates and herbivore communities remain low.

  2. Plasticity of larval pre-competency in response to temperature: observations on multiple broadcast spawning coral species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyward, A. J.; Negri, A. P.

    2010-09-01

    The pre-competency period of coral larvae influences dispersal, and this may be affected under projected climate change conditions. In this laboratory study, we examined the influence of sea water temperature on the duration of pre-competency of larvae of four broadcast spawning coral species. Fungia repanda, Acropora millepora, A. spathulata and Symphyllia recta larvae demonstrated large differences in cohort competency levels when cultured over a 4°C range during the first 4 days post fertilisation. Warmer temperatures reduced pre-competency periods by at least a day for all species, but there were also indications of an upper temperature threshold of less than 32°C for the development of F. repanda, A. millepora and S. recta. These data suggest a general flexibility in ontogenic response to ambient water temperatures. Sea surface temperatures (SST) that differ at spawning time by as little as 2°C, due to inter-annual or latitudinal variation, are likely to alter coral larval dispersal ranges. In some locations, notably the central Indo-Pacific, where major coral spawning activity can coincide with seasonal SST maxima, a future 2°C increase due to climate change may have serious negative effects on coral development and distribution.

  3. Transcriptome and quantitative proteome analysis reveals molecular processes associated with larval metamorphosis in the polychaete pseudopolydora vexillosa

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli

    2013-03-01

    Larval growth of the polychaete worm Pseudopolydora vexillosa involves the formation of segment-specific structures. When larvae attain competency to settle, they discard swimming chaetae and secrete mucus. The larvae build tubes around themselves and metamorphose into benthic juveniles. Understanding the molecular processes, which regulate this complex and unique transition, remains a major challenge because of the limited molecular information available. To improve this situation, we conducted high-throughput RNA sequencing and quantitative proteome analysis of the larval stages of P. vexillosa. Based on gene ontology (GO) analysis, transcripts related to cellular and metabolic processes, binding, and catalytic activities were highly represented during larval-adult transition. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), calcium-signaling, Wnt/β-catenin, and notch signaling metabolic pathways were enriched in transcriptome data. Quantitative proteomics identified 107 differentially expressed proteins in three distinct larval stages. Fourteen and 53 proteins exhibited specific differential expression during competency and metamorphosis, respectively. Dramatic up-regulation of proteins involved in signaling, metabolism, and cytoskeleton functions were found during the larval-juvenile transition. Several proteins involved in cell signaling, cytoskeleton and metabolism were up-regulated, whereas proteins related to transcription and oxidative phosphorylation were down-regulated during competency. The integration of high-throughput RNA sequencing and quantitative proteomics allowed a global scale analysis of larval transcripts/proteins associated molecular processes in the metamorphosis of polychaete worms. Further, transcriptomic and proteomic insights provide a new direction to understand the fundamental mechanisms that regulate larval metamorphosis in polychaetes. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  4. Limited Capacity for Faster Digestion in Larval Coral Reef Fish at an Elevated Temperature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian M McLeod

    Full Text Available The prevalence of extreme, short-term temperature spikes in coastal regions during summer months is predicted to increase with ongoing climate change. In tropical systems, these changes are predicted to increase the metabolic demand of coral reef fish larvae while also altering the plankton communities upon which the larvae feed during their pelagic phase. The consequences of these predictions remain speculative in the absence of empirical data on the interactive effects of warm temperatures on the metabolism, postprandial processes and growth responses of coral reef fish larvae. Here, we tested the effect of increased temperature on the metabolism, postprandial performance and fine-scale growth patterns of a coral reef fish (Amphiprion percula in the latter half of its ~11-d larval phase. First, we measured the length and weight of fed versus fasted larvae (N = 340; mean body mass 4.1±0.05 mg across fine temporal scales at a typical current summer temperature (28.5°C and a temperature that is likely be encountered during warm summer periods later this century (31.5°C. Second, we measured routine metabolic rate (Mo2 routine and the energetics of the postprandial processes (i.e., digestion, absorption and assimilation of a meal; termed specific dynamic action (SDA at both temperatures. Larvae fed voraciously when provided with food for a 12-hour period and displayed a temperature-independent increase in mass of 40.1% (28.5°C and 42.6% (31.5°C, which was largely associated with the mass of prey in the gut. A subsequent 12-h fasting period revealed that the larvae had grown 21.2±4.8% (28.5°C and 22.8±8.8% (31.5°C in mass and 10.3±2.0% (28.5°C and 7.8±2.6% (31.5°C in length compared with pre-feeding values (no significant temperature effect. Mo2 routine was 55±16% higher at 31.5°C and peak Mo2 during the postprandial period was 28±11% higher at 31.5°C, yet elevated temperature had no significant effect on SDA (0.51±0.06 J at 28.5

  5. Variation in larval properties of the Atlantic brooding coral Porites astreoides between different reef sites in Bermuda

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Putron, Samantha J.; Lawson, Julia M.; White, Kascia Q. L.; Costa, Matthew T.; Geronimus, Miriam V. B.; MacCarthy, Anne

    2017-06-01

    Recent research has documented phenotypic differences among larvae released from corals with a brooding reproductive mode, both among species and within broods from a single species. We studied larvae released from the common Atlantic coral Porites astreoides in Bermuda to further evaluate phenotypic variability. Inter-site differences were investigated in larvae from conspecifics at a rim and patch reef site. Larvae were collected daily for one lunar cycle from several colonies per site each year over 5 yr. Larval volume varied with reef site of origin, with colonies from the rim reef site producing larger larvae than colonies from the patch reef site. This inter-site variation in larval size could not be explained by corallite size and may be a response to different environmental conditions at the sites. Larvae from both reef sites also varied in size depending on lunar day of release over 4 yr of study. Regardless of site of origin, smaller larvae were released earlier in the lunar cycle. Over 1 yr of study, lipid and zooxanthellae content and settlement success after 48 h covaried with larval size. However, there may be a trade-off between larger larvae and reduced fecundity. Overall, larvae released from colonies from the rim reef site were larger and had greater settlement success than those from colonies from the patch reef site. This study documents larval phenotypic variability and a distinct inter-site difference in larval ecology among conspecifics within the same geographic area, which may have implications for recruitment success, population dynamics, and resilience.

  6. Spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal in a coral-reef fish metapopulation: evidence of variable reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusack, Timothy J; Christie, Mark R; Johnson, Darren W; Stallings, Christopher D; Hixon, Mark A

    2014-07-01

    Many marine organisms can be transported hundreds of kilometres during their pelagic larval stage, yet little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal. Although traditional population-genetic tools can be applied to infer movement of larvae on an evolutionary timescale, large effective population sizes and high rates of gene flow present serious challenges to documenting dispersal patterns over shorter, ecologically relevant, timescales. Here, we address these challenges by combining direct parentage analysis and indirect genetic analyses over a 4-year period to document spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal in a common coral-reef fish: the bicolour damselfish (Stegastes partitus). At four island locations surrounding Exuma Sound, Bahamas, including a long-established marine reserve, we collected 3278 individuals and genotyped them at 10 microsatellite loci. Using Bayesian parentage analysis, we identified eight parent-offspring pairs, thereby directly documenting dispersal distances ranging from 0 km (i.e., self-recruitment) to 129 km (i.e., larval connectivity). Despite documenting substantial dispersal and gene flow between islands, we observed more self-recruitment events than expected if the larvae were drawn from a common, well-mixed pool (i.e., a completely open population). Additionally, we detected both spatial and temporal variation in signatures of sweepstakes and Wahlund effects. The high variance in reproductive success (i.e., 'sweepstakes') we observed may be influenced by seasonal mesoscale gyres present in the Exuma Sound, which play a prominent role in shaping local oceanographic patterns. This study documents the complex nature of larval dispersal in a coral-reef fish, and highlights the importance of sampling multiple cohorts and coupling both direct and indirect genetic methods in order disentangle patterns of dispersal, gene flow and variable reproductive success. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. The Impact of Seawater Saturation State on Early Skeletal Development in Larval Corals: Insights into Scleractinian Biomineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, A. L.; McCorkle, D. C.; de Putron, S.

    2007-12-01

    Understanding the response of coral calcification to changes in seawater saturation state (ocean acidification) could provide important insights into the fundamental processes of scleractinian biomineralization. In particular, larval calcification, which involves initiation of skeletogenesis by a previously non-calcifying planktonic planula, offers a unique opportunity to examine the role and limitations of biological control over an essentially physicochemical process. Larvae of the brooding Atlantic coral Favia fragum were settled in unmodified seawater onto clay tiles within 12h of spawning, and placed into non-through flow 30 L aquaria prior to initiation of calcification. Seawater chemistry was pre-adjusted via HCl addition and continuous bubbling with laboratory air, yielding four aragonite saturation states: Omega(aragonite) = 3.71 (unmodified), 2.4, 1.04, and 0.22. The aquaria were held at 25 °C on a 12h/12h light/dark cycle, and sets of tiles harvested at 1, 5 and 8 days post-spawning. Accretion of aragonite (confirmed by Raman spectroscopy) in all treatments indicates that the settled larvae were able to elevate the saturation state of aquarium seawater sequestered within their calcifying space. However, external aqueous carbonate chemistry had a striking effect on larval mortality, on the nature and timing of basal plate formation, on skeletal growth rates (based on the length and cross-sectional area of septa), and on the structure and organization of aragonite crystals within the septa (imaged using SEM). Larval survival rates at the two lower saturation states was only 40% of that in the control and Omega = 2.35 treatments, and skeletal growth decreased by 30 % (relative to the control) in seawater with saturation state comparable to that predicted for the mid-latitude surface ocean by 2100 AD. SEM imaging of the larval skeletons revealed significant differences in the morphology of aragonite crystals accreted under different conditions. In stark

  8. Coral transcriptome and bacterial community profiles reveal distinct Yellow Band Disease states in Orbicella faveolata

    KAUST Repository

    Closek, Collin J.

    2014-06-20

    Coral diseases impact reefs globally. Although we continue to describe diseases, little is known about the etiology or progression of even the most common cases. To examine a spectrum of coral health and determine factors of disease progression we examined Orbicella faveolata exhibiting signs of Yellow Band Disease (YBD), a widespread condition in the Caribbean. We used a novel combined approach to assess three members of the coral holobiont: the coral-host, associated Symbiodinium algae, and bacteria. We profiled three conditions: (1) healthy-appearing colonies (HH), (2) healthy-appearing tissue on diseased colonies (HD), and (3) diseased lesion (DD). Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed health state-specific diversity in Symbiodinium clade associations. 16S ribosomal RNA gene microarrays (PhyloChips) and O. faveolata complimentary DNA microarrays revealed the bacterial community structure and host transcriptional response, respectively. A distinct bacterial community structure marked each health state. Diseased samples were associated with two to three times more bacterial diversity. HD samples had the highest bacterial richness, which included components associated with HH and DD, as well as additional unique families. The host transcriptome under YBD revealed a reduced cellular expression of defense- and metabolism-related processes, while the neighboring HD condition exhibited an intermediate expression profile. Although HD tissue appeared visibly healthy, the microbial communities and gene expression profiles were distinct. HD should be regarded as an additional (intermediate) state of disease, which is important for understanding the progression of YBD. © 2014 International Society for Microbial Ecology. All rights reserved.

  9. Transcriptome of the Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth larval midgut in response to infection by Bacillus thuringiensis.

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    Michael E Sparks

    Full Text Available Transcriptomic profiles of the serious lepidopteran insect pest Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth were characterized in the larval midgut in response to infection by Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, a biopesticide commonly used for its control. RNA-Seq approaches were used to define a set of 49,613 assembled transcript sequences, of which 838, 1,248 and 3,305 were respectively partitioned into high-, mid- and low-quality tiers on the basis of homology information. Digital gene expression profiles suggested genes differentially expressed at 24 hours post infection, and qRT-PCR analyses were performed for verification. The differentially expressed genes primarily associated with digestive function, including α-amylase, lipase and carboxypeptidase; immune response, including C-type lectin 4; developmental genes such as arylphorin; as well as a variety of binding proteins: cellular retinoic acid binding protein (lipid-binding, insulin-related peptide binding protein (protein-binding and ovary C/EBPg transcription factor (nucleic acid-binding. This is the first study conducted to specifically investigate gypsy moth response to a bacterial infection challenge using large-scale sequencing technologies, and the results highlight important genes that could be involved in biopesticide resistance development or could serve as targets for biologically-based control mechanisms of this insect pest.

  10. Whole transcriptome analysis reveals changes in expression of immune-related genes during and after bleaching in a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzón, Jorge H; Kamel, Bishoy; Burge, Colleen A; Harvell, C Drew; Medina, Mónica; Weil, Ernesto; Mydlarz, Laura D

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is negatively affecting the stability of natural ecosystems, especially coral reefs. The dissociation of the symbiosis between reef-building corals and their algal symbiont, or coral bleaching, has been linked to increased sea surface temperatures. Coral bleaching has significant impacts on corals, including an increase in disease outbreaks that can permanently change the entire reef ecosystem. Yet, little is known about the impacts of coral bleaching on the coral immune system. In this study, whole transcriptome analysis of the coral holobiont and each of the associate components (i.e. coral host, algal symbiont and other associated microorganisms) was used to determine changes in gene expression in corals affected by a natural bleaching event as well as during the recovery phase. The main findings include evidence that the coral holobiont and the coral host have different responses to bleaching, and the host immune system appears suppressed even a year after a bleaching event. These results support the hypothesis that coral bleaching changes the expression of innate immune genes of corals, and these effects can last even after recovery of symbiont populations. Research on the role of immunity on coral's resistance to stressors can help make informed predictions on the future of corals and coral reefs.

  11. Transcriptomic analysis of neuropeptides and peptide hormones in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite: evidence of roles in larval settlement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xing-Cheng; Chen, Zhang-Fan; Sun, Jin; Matsumura, Kiyotaka; Wu, Rudolf S S; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2012-01-01

    The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed marine crustacean and has been used as a model species for intertidal ecology and biofouling studies. Its life cycle consists of seven planktonic larval stages followed by a sessile juvenile/adult stage. The transitional processes between larval stages and juveniles are crucial for barnacle development and recruitment. Although some studies have been conducted on the neuroanatomy and neuroactive substances of the barnacle, a comprehensive understanding of neuropeptides and peptide hormones remains lacking. To better characterize barnacle neuropeptidome and its potential roles in larval settlement, an in silico identification of putative transcripts encoding neuropeptides/peptide hormones was performed, based on transcriptome of the barnacle B. amphitrite that has been recently sequenced. Potential cleavage sites andstructure of mature peptides were predicted through homology search of known arthropod peptides. In total, 16 neuropeptide families/subfamilies were predicted from the barnacle transcriptome, and 14 of them were confirmed as genuine neuropeptides by Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends. Analysis of peptide precursor structures and mature sequences showed that some neuropeptides of B. amphitrite are novel isoforms and shared similar characteristics with their homologs from insects. The expression profiling of predicted neuropeptide genes revealed that pigment dispersing hormone, SIFamide, calcitonin, and B-type allatostatin had the highest expression level in cypris stage, while tachykinin-related peptide was down regulated in both cyprids and juveniles. Furthermore, an inhibitor of proprotein convertase related to peptide maturation effectively delayed larval metamorphosis. Combination of real-time PCR results and bioassay indicated that certain neuropeptides may play an important role in cypris settlement. Overall, new insight into neuropeptides/peptide hormones characterized in this study shall

  12. Transcriptomic analysis of neuropeptides and peptide hormones in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite: evidence of roles in larval settlement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing-Cheng Yan

    Full Text Available The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed marine crustacean and has been used as a model species for intertidal ecology and biofouling studies. Its life cycle consists of seven planktonic larval stages followed by a sessile juvenile/adult stage. The transitional processes between larval stages and juveniles are crucial for barnacle development and recruitment. Although some studies have been conducted on the neuroanatomy and neuroactive substances of the barnacle, a comprehensive understanding of neuropeptides and peptide hormones remains lacking. To better characterize barnacle neuropeptidome and its potential roles in larval settlement, an in silico identification of putative transcripts encoding neuropeptides/peptide hormones was performed, based on transcriptome of the barnacle B. amphitrite that has been recently sequenced. Potential cleavage sites andstructure of mature peptides were predicted through homology search of known arthropod peptides. In total, 16 neuropeptide families/subfamilies were predicted from the barnacle transcriptome, and 14 of them were confirmed as genuine neuropeptides by Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends. Analysis of peptide precursor structures and mature sequences showed that some neuropeptides of B. amphitrite are novel isoforms and shared similar characteristics with their homologs from insects. The expression profiling of predicted neuropeptide genes revealed that pigment dispersing hormone, SIFamide, calcitonin, and B-type allatostatin had the highest expression level in cypris stage, while tachykinin-related peptide was down regulated in both cyprids and juveniles. Furthermore, an inhibitor of proprotein convertase related to peptide maturation effectively delayed larval metamorphosis. Combination of real-time PCR results and bioassay indicated that certain neuropeptides may play an important role in cypris settlement. Overall, new insight into neuropeptides/peptide hormones characterized in

  13. Transcriptomic analysis of neuropeptides and peptide hormones in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite: evidence of roles in larval settlement.

    KAUST Repository

    Yan, Xing-Cheng

    2012-10-02

    The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed marine crustacean and has been used as a model species for intertidal ecology and biofouling studies. Its life cycle consists of seven planktonic larval stages followed by a sessile juvenile/adult stage. The transitional processes between larval stages and juveniles are crucial for barnacle development and recruitment. Although some studies have been conducted on the neuroanatomy and neuroactive substances of the barnacle, a comprehensive understanding of neuropeptides and peptide hormones remains lacking. To better characterize barnacle neuropeptidome and its potential roles in larval settlement, an in silico identification of putative transcripts encoding neuropeptides/peptide hormones was performed, based on transcriptome of the barnacle B. amphitrite that has been recently sequenced. Potential cleavage sites andstructure of mature peptides were predicted through homology search of known arthropod peptides. In total, 16 neuropeptide families/subfamilies were predicted from the barnacle transcriptome, and 14 of them were confirmed as genuine neuropeptides by Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends. Analysis of peptide precursor structures and mature sequences showed that some neuropeptides of B. amphitrite are novel isoforms and shared similar characteristics with their homologs from insects. The expression profiling of predicted neuropeptide genes revealed that pigment dispersing hormone, SIFamide, calcitonin, and B-type allatostatin had the highest expression level in cypris stage, while tachykinin-related peptide was down regulated in both cyprids and juveniles. Furthermore, an inhibitor of proprotein convertase related to peptide maturation effectively delayed larval metamorphosis. Combination of real-time PCR results and bioassay indicated that certain neuropeptides may play an important role in cypris settlement. Overall, new insight into neuropeptides/peptide hormones characterized in this study shall

  14. The red coral (Corallium rubrum) transcriptome: a new resource for population genetics and local adaptation studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratlong, M; Haguenauer, A; Chabrol, O; Klopp, C; Pontarotti, P; Aurelle, D

    2015-09-01

    The question of species survival and evolution in heterogeneous environments has long been a subject for study. Indeed, it is often difficult to identify the molecular basis of adaptation to contrasted environments, and nongenetic effects increase the difficulty to disentangle fixed effects, such as genetic adaptation, from variable effects, such as individual phenotypic plasticity, in adaptation. Nevertheless, this question is also of great importance for understanding the evolution of species in a context of climate change. The red coral (Corallium rubrum) lives in the Mediterranean Sea, where at depths ranging from 5 to 600 m, it meets very contrasted thermal conditions. The shallowest populations of this species suffered from mortality events linked with thermal anomalies that have highlighted thermotolerance differences between individuals. We provide here a new transcriptomic resource, as well as candidate markers for the study of local adaptation. We sequenced the transcriptome of six individuals from 5 m and six individuals from 40 m depth at the same site of the Marseilles bay, after a period of common garden acclimatization. We found differential expression maintained between the two depths even after common garden acclimatization, and we analysed the polymorphism pattern of these samples. We highlighted contigs potentially implicated in the response to thermal stress, which could be good candidates for the study of thermal adaptation for the red coral. Some of these genes are also involved in the response to thermal stress in other corals. Our method enables the identification of candidate loci of local adaptation useful for other nonmodel organisms.

  15. Symbiodinium transcriptomes: genome insights into the dinoflagellate symbionts of reef-building corals.

    KAUST Repository

    Bayer, Till

    2012-04-18

    Dinoflagellates are unicellular algae that are ubiquitously abundant in aquatic environments. Species of the genus Symbiodinium form symbiotic relationships with reef-building corals and other marine invertebrates. Despite their ecologic importance, little is known about the genetics of dinoflagellates in general and Symbiodinium in particular. Here, we used 454 sequencing to generate transcriptome data from two Symbiodinium species from different clades (clade A and clade B). With more than 56,000 assembled sequences per species, these data represent the largest transcriptomic resource for dinoflagellates to date. Our results corroborate previous observations that dinoflagellates possess the complete nucleosome machinery. We found a complete set of core histones as well as several H3 variants and H2A.Z in one species. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis points toward a low number of transcription factors in Symbiodinium spp. that also differ in the distribution of DNA-binding domains relative to other eukaryotes. In particular the cold shock domain was predominant among transcription factors. Additionally, we found a high number of antioxidative genes in comparison to non-symbiotic but evolutionary related organisms. These findings might be of relevance in the context of the role that Symbiodinium spp. play as coral symbionts.Our data represent the most comprehensive dinoflagellate EST data set to date. This study provides a comprehensive resource to further analyze the genetic makeup, metabolic capacities, and gene repertoire of Symbiodinium and dinoflagellates. Overall, our findings indicate that Symbiodinium possesses some unique characteristics, in particular the transcriptional regulation in Symbiodinium may differ from the currently known mechanisms of eukaryotic gene regulation.

  16. Crustose coralline algae and a cnidarian neuropeptide trigger larval settlement in two coral reef sponges

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Whalan, Steve; Webster, Nicole S; Negri, Andrew P

    2012-01-01

    ... of scleractinian coral larvae. Methanol extracts of the crustose coralline algae (CCA), Porolithon onkodes, corresponding to a range of concentrations, were used to determine the settlement responses of sponge larvae...

  17. Impact of a novel protein meal on the gastrointestinal microbiota and host transcriptome of larval zebrafish Danio rerio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene eRurangwa

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Larval zebrafish was subjected to a methodological exploration of the gastrointestinal microbiota and transcriptome. Assessed was the impact of two dietary inclusion levels of a novel protein meal (NPM of animal origin (ragworm Nereis virens on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT. Microbial development was assessed over the first 21 days post egg fertilisation (dpf through 16S rRNA gene-based microbial composition profiling by pyrosequencing. Differentially expressed genes in the GIT were demonstrated at 21 dpf by whole transcriptome sequencing (mRNAseq. Larval zebrafish showed rapid temporal changes in microbial colonization but domination occurred by one to three bacterial species generally belonging to Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. The high iron content of NPM may have led to an increased relative abundance of bacteria that were related to potential pathogens and bacteria with an increased iron metabolism. Functional classification of the 328 differentially expressed genes indicated that the GIT of larvae fed at higher NPM level was more active in transmembrane ion transport and protein synthesis. mRNAseq analysis did not reveal a major activation of genes involved in the immune response or indicating differences in iron uptake and homeostasis in zebrafish fed at the high inclusion level of NPM.

  18. More than archetypal coral-reef fishes: Revision and relationships of the Acanthuroidei based on adult and larval morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Martin Leis

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Acanthuroid fishes are often considered archetyal coral-reef fishes. We use characters of both larvae and adults to redefine the Acanthuroidei to include the traditional acanthuroid families (Acanthuridae, Ephippidae, Luvaridae, Scatophagidae, Siganidae, Zanclidae and several taxa usually placed within the Percoidei (Antigonia, Chaetodontidae, Drepaneidae, Leiognathidae, Lobotidae, Pomacanthidae. These taxa share a specialised tooth ontogeny. Based on larval morphology (particularly head spination, sculpting on the skull, early development of posteriorly-placed pelvic fins, pigmentation, and body shape and adult morphology (dorsal gill-arches the Lobotidae is newly diagnosed to include the genera Lobotes, Datnioides and Hapalogenys. These three genera have traditionally been placed in the families Lobotidae, Datnioididae and Haemulidae, respectively, although Hapalogenys was sometimes placed in a separate Hapalogenyidae. Three-item analysis shows that Lobotidae is the sister group of the remaining acanthuroids. Antigonia and Leiognathidae are nested within a clade consisting of the traditional acanthuroids on the basis of a number of synapomorphies, including a single postcleithrum, five or fewer branchiostegal rays, absence of the interarcual cartilage and larval morphology. The sister group of the Acanthuroidei remains unclear. We compare this phylogeny of the revised Acanthuroidei with recent phylogenies based exclusively on genetic data. Although the different gene-based phylogenies agree on some aspects, they disagree on others. Similarly, the morphology-based phylogeny has areas of both agreement and disagreement with the gene-based phylogenies. Areas of agreement (where relevant taxa were included in the analysis include: removal of Hapalogenys from Haemulidae; inclusion of Lobotes, Datnioides and Hapalogenys in Lobotidae; Lobotidae, Caproidae and Leiognathidae related to at least some of the acanthuroid taxa as defined here; Luvaridae

  19. Larval midgut modifications associated with Bti resistance in the yellow fever mosquito using proteomic and transcriptomic approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetreau Guillaume

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti is a natural larval mosquito pathogen producing pore-forming toxins targeting the midgut of Diptera larvae. It is used worldwide for mosquito control. Resistance mechanisms of an Aedes aegypti laboratory strain selected for 30 generations with field-collected leaf litter containing Bti toxins were investigated in larval midguts at two levels: 1. gene transcription using DNA microarray and RT-qPCR and 2. differential expression of brush border membrane proteins using DIGE (Differential In Gel Electrophoresis. Results Several Bti Cry toxin receptors including alkaline phosphatases and N-aminopeptidases and toxin-binding V-ATPases exhibited altered expression levels in the resistant strain. The under-expression of putative Bti-receptors is consistent with Bt-resistance mechanisms previously described in Lepidoptera. Four soluble metalloproteinases were found under-transcribed together with a drastic decrease of metalloproteinases activity in the resistant strain, suggesting a role in resistance by decreasing the amount of activated Cry toxins in the larval midgut. Conclusions By combining transcriptomic and proteomic approaches, we detected expression changes at nearly each step of the ingestion-to-infection process, providing a short list of genes and proteins potentially involved in Bti-resistance whose implication needs to be validated. Collectively, these results open the way to further functional analyses to better characterize Bti-resistance mechanisms in mosquitoes.

  20. A Snapshot of a Coral “Holobiont”: A Transcriptome Assembly of the Scleractinian Coral, Porites, Captures a Wide Variety of Genes from Both the Host and Symbiotic Zooxanthellae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinzato, Chuya; Inoue, Mayuri; Kusakabe, Makoto

    2014-01-01

    Massive scleractinian corals of the genus Porites are important reef builders in the Indo-Pacific, and they are more resistant to thermal stress than other stony corals, such as the genus Acropora. Because coral health and survival largely depend on the interaction between a coral host and its symbionts, it is important to understand the molecular interactions of an entire “coral holobiont”. We simultaneously sequenced transcriptomes of Porites australiensis and its symbionts using the Illumina Hiseq2000 platform. We obtained 14.3 Gbp of sequencing data and assembled it into 74,997 contigs (average: 1,263 bp, N50 size: 2,037 bp). We successfully distinguished contigs originating from the host (Porites) and the symbiont (Symbiodinium) by aligning nucleotide sequences with the decoded Acropora digitifera and Symbiodinium minutum genomes. In contrast to previous coral transcriptome studies, at least 35% of the sequences were found to have originated from the symbionts, indicating that it is possible to analyze both host and symbiont transcriptomes simultaneously. Conserved protein domain and KEGG analyses showed that the dataset contains broad gene repertoires of both Porites and Symbiodinium. Effective utilization of sequence reads revealed that the polymorphism rate in P. australiensis is 1.0% and identified the major symbiotic Symbiodinium as Type C15. Analyses of amino acid biosynthetic pathways suggested that this Porites holobiont is probably able to synthesize most of the common amino acids and that Symbiodinium is potentially able to provide essential amino acids to its host. We believe this to be the first molecular evidence of complementarity in amino acid metabolism between coral hosts and their symbionts. We successfully assembled genes originating from both the host coral and the symbiotic Symbiodinium to create a snapshot of the coral holobiont transcriptome. This dataset will facilitate a deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms of coral

  1. Are G-protein-coupled receptors involved in mediating larval settlement and metamorphosis of coral planulae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Cawa; Hadfield, Michael G

    2012-04-01

    Larvae of the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis are induced to settle and metamorphose by the presence of marine bacterial biofilms, and the larvae of Montipora capitata respond to a combination of filamentous and crustose coralline algae. The primary goal of this study was to better understand metamorphosis of cnidarian larvae by determining what types of receptors and signal-transduction pathways are involved during stimulation of metamorphosis of P. damicornis and M. capitata. Evidence from studies on larvae of hydrozoans suggests that G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are good candidates. Settlement experiments were conducted in which competent larvae were exposed to neuropharmacological agents that affect GPCRs and their associated signal-transduction pathways, AC/cAMP and PI/DAG/PKC. On the basis of the results of these experiments, we conclude that GPCRs and these pathways do not mediate settlement and metamorphosis in either coral species. Two compounds that had an effect on both species, forskolin and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (TPA), may be acting on other cellular processes not related to GPCRs. This study strengthens our understanding of the underlying physiological mechanisms that regulate metamorphosis in coral larvae.

  2. Transcriptomic Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes During Larval Development of Rapana venosa by Digital Gene Expression Profiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Song

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available During the life cycle of shellfish, larval development, especially metamorphosis, has a vital influence on the dynamics, distribution, and recruitment of natural populations, as well as seed breeding. Rapana venosa, a carnivorous gastropod, is an important commercial shellfish in China, and is an ecological invader in the United States, Argentina, and France. However, information about the mechanism of its early development is still limited, because research in this area has long suffered from a lack of genomic resources. In this study, 15 digital gene expression (DGE libraries from five developmental stages of R. venosa were constructed and sequenced on the IIIumina Hi-Sequation 2500 platform. Bioinformaticsanalysis identified numerous differentially and specifically expressed genes, which revealed that genes associated with growth, nervous system, digestive system, immune system, and apoptosis participate in important developmental processes. The functional analysis of differentially expressed genes was further implemented by gene ontology, and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes enrichment. DGE profiling provided a general picture of the transcriptomic activities during the early development of R. venosa, which may provide interesting hints for further study. Our data represent the first comparative transcriptomic information available for the early development of R. venosa, which is a prerequisite for a better understanding of the physiological traits controlling development.

  3. Transcriptomic Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes During Larval Development of Rapana venosa by Digital Gene Expression Profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Hao; Yu, Zheng-Lin; Sun, Li-Na; Xue, Dong-Xiu; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Hai-Yan

    2016-07-07

    During the life cycle of shellfish, larval development, especially metamorphosis, has a vital influence on the dynamics, distribution, and recruitment of natural populations, as well as seed breeding. Rapana venosa, a carnivorous gastropod, is an important commercial shellfish in China, and is an ecological invader in the United States, Argentina, and France. However, information about the mechanism of its early development is still limited, because research in this area has long suffered from a lack of genomic resources. In this study, 15 digital gene expression (DGE) libraries from five developmental stages of R. venosa were constructed and sequenced on the IIIumina Hi-Sequation 2500 platform. Bioinformaticsanalysis identified numerous differentially and specifically expressed genes, which revealed that genes associated with growth, nervous system, digestive system, immune system, and apoptosis participate in important developmental processes. The functional analysis of differentially expressed genes was further implemented by gene ontology, and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes enrichment. DGE profiling provided a general picture of the transcriptomic activities during the early development of R. venosa, which may provide interesting hints for further study. Our data represent the first comparative transcriptomic information available for the early development of R. venosa, which is a prerequisite for a better understanding of the physiological traits controlling development.

  4. Probability of successful larval dispersal declines fivefold over 1 km in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buston, Peter M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Planes, Serge; Thorrold, Simon R

    2012-05-22

    A central question of marine ecology is, how far do larvae disperse? Coupled biophysical models predict that the probability of successful dispersal declines as a function of distance between populations. Estimates of genetic isolation-by-distance and self-recruitment provide indirect support for this prediction. Here, we conduct the first direct test of this prediction, using data from the well-studied system of clown anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) at Kimbe Island, in Papua New Guinea. Amphiprion percula live in small breeding groups that inhabit sea anemones. These groups can be thought of as populations within a metapopulation. We use the x- and y-coordinates of each anemone to determine the expected distribution of dispersal distances (the distribution of distances between each and every population in the metapopulation). We use parentage analyses to trace recruits back to parents and determine the observed distribution of dispersal distances. Then, we employ a logistic model to (i) compare the observed and expected dispersal distance distributions and (ii) determine the relationship between the probability of successful dispersal and the distance between populations. The observed and expected dispersal distance distributions are significantly different (p probability of successful dispersal between populations decreases fivefold over 1 km. This study provides a framework for quantitative investigations of larval dispersal that can be applied to other species. Further, the approach facilitates testing biological and physical hypotheses for the factors influencing larval dispersal in unison, which will advance our understanding of marine population connectivity.

  5. Coastal circulation and potential coral-larval dispersal in Maunalua Bay, O'ahu, Hawaii—Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, and salinity, June-September 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presto, M. Katherine; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Logan, Joshua B.; Reiss, Thomas E.; Rosenberger, Kurt J.

    2012-01-01

    This report presents a summary of fieldwork conducted in Maunalua Bay, O'ahu, Hawaii to address coral-larval dispersal and recruitment from June through September, 2010. The objectives of this study were to understand the temporal and spatial variations in currents, waves, tides, temperature, and salinity in Maunalua Bay during the summer coral-spawning season of Montipora capitata. Short-term vessel surveys and satellite-tracked drifters were deployed to measure currents during the June 2010 spawning event and to supplement the longer-term measurements of currents and water-column properties by fixed, bottom-mounted instruments deployed in Maunalua Bay. These data show that currents at the surface and just below the surface where coral larvae are found are often oriented in opposite directions due primarily to tidal and trade-winds forcing as the primary mechanisms of circulation in the bay. These data extend our understanding of coral-larvae dispersal patterns due to tidal and wind-driven currents and may be applicable to larvae of other Hawaiian corals.

  6. Characterizing the adult and larval transcriptome of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay A. Havens

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The reasons for the evolution and maintenance of striking visual phenotypes are as widespread as the species that display these phenotypes. While study systems such as Heliconius and Dendrobatidae have been well characterized and provide critical information about the evolution of these traits, a breadth of new study systems, in which the phenotype of interest can be easily manipulated and quantified, are essential for gaining a more general understanding of these specific evolutionary processes. One such model is the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, which displays significant elytral spot and color polymorphism. Using transcriptome data from two life stages, adult and larva, we characterize the transcriptome, thereby laying a foundation for further analysis and identification of the genes responsible for the continual maintenance of spot variation in H. axyridis.

  7. Transcriptomic basis for an antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (coral snake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Paulo L

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Micrurus corallinus (coral snake is a tropical forest snake belonging to the family Elapidae. Its venom shows a high neurotoxicity associated with pre- and post-synaptic toxins, causing diaphragm paralysis, which may result in death. In spite of a relatively small incidence of accidents, serum therapy is crucial for those bitten. However, the adequate production of antiserum is hampered by the difficulty in obtaining sufficient amounts of venom from a small snake with demanding breeding conditions. In order to elucidate the molecular basis of this venom and to uncover possible immunogens for an antiserum, we generated expressed sequences tags (ESTs from its venom glands and analyzed the transcriptomic profile. In addition, their immunogenicity was tested using DNA immunization. Results A total of 1438 ESTs were generated and grouped into 611 clusters. Toxin transcripts represented 46% of the total ESTs. The two main toxin classes consisted of three-finger toxins (3FTx (24% and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s (15%. However, 8 other classes of toxins were present, including C-type lectins, natriuretic peptide precursors and even high-molecular mass components such as metalloproteases and L-amino acid oxidases. Each class included an assortment of isoforms, some showing evidence of alternative splicing and domain deletions. Five antigenic candidates were selected (four 3FTx and one PLA2 and used for a preliminary study of DNA immunization. The immunological response showed that the sera from the immunized animals were able to recognize the recombinant antigens. Conclusion Besides an improvement in our knowledge of the composition of coral snake venoms, which are very poorly known when compared to Old World elapids, the expression profile suggests abundant and diversified components that may be used in future antiserum formulation. As recombinant production of venom antigens frequently fails due to complex disulfide arrangements, DNA

  8. A transcriptomic analysis of Echinococcus granulosus larval stages: implications for parasite biology and host adaptation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Parkinson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The cestode Echinococcus granulosus--the agent of cystic echinococcosis, a zoonosis affecting humans and domestic animals worldwide--is an excellent model for the study of host-parasite cross-talk that interfaces with two mammalian hosts. To develop the molecular analysis of these interactions, we carried out an EST survey of E. granulosus larval stages. We report the salient features of this study with a focus on genes reflecting physiological adaptations of different parasite stages. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We generated ~10,000 ESTs from two sets of full-length enriched libraries (derived from oligo-capped and trans-spliced cDNAs prepared with three parasite materials: hydatid cyst wall, larval worms (protoscoleces, and pepsin/H(+-activated protoscoleces. The ESTs were clustered into 2700 distinct gene products. In the context of the biology of E. granulosus, our analyses reveal: (i a diverse group of abundant long non-protein coding transcripts showing homology to a middle repetitive element (EgBRep that could either be active molecular species or represent precursors of small RNAs (like piRNAs; (ii an up-regulation of fermentative pathways in the tissue of the cyst wall; (iii highly expressed thiol- and selenol-dependent antioxidant enzyme targets of thioredoxin glutathione reductase, the functional hub of redox metabolism in parasitic flatworms; (iv candidate apomucins for the external layer of the tissue-dwelling hydatid cyst, a mucin-rich structure that is critical for survival in the intermediate host; (v a set of tetraspanins, a protein family that appears to have expanded in the cestode lineage; and (vi a set of platyhelminth-specific gene products that may offer targets for novel pan-platyhelminth drug development. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This survey has greatly increased the quality and the quantity of the molecular information on E. granulosus and constitutes a valuable resource for gene prediction on the

  9. Diurnal and nocturnal transcriptomic variation in the Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemond, Elizabeth M; Vollmer, Steven V

    2015-09-01

    Reef-building corals experience large diel shifts in their environment, both externally due to changes in light intensity, predator activity and prey availability, and internally as a result of diel fluctuations in photosynthesis by their endosymbiotic algae, Symbiodinium. Diel patterns of tentacle behaviour, skeletal growth and gene expression indicate reactions of the coral animal in response to light and through circadian regulation. Some corals, such as the Caribbean Acroporas, have strong within-colony division of labour, including specialized fast-growing apical polyps, accompanied by large gene expression differences. Here we use RNA-seq to evaluate how diel changes in gene expression vary within the branching Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, between branch tips and branch bases. Multifactor generalized linear model analysis indicated that 6% (3005) of transcripts were differentially expressed between branch tips and bases, while 1% (441) of transcripts were differentially expressed between day and night. The gene expression patterns of 220 transcripts were affected by both time of day and location within the colony. In particular, photoreceptors, putative circadian genes, stress response genes and metabolic genes were differentially expressed between day and night, and some of these, including Amcry1, tef and hebp2, exhibited location-specific regulation within the coral colony as well. These findings indicate that the genetic response of the coral to day and night conditions varies within the colony. Both time of day and location within the colony are factors that should be considered in future coral gene expression experiments.

  10. The importance of coral larval recruitment for the recovery of reefs impacted by cyclone Yasi in the central Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Cross, Peter; Torda, Gergely; Zimmerman, Rachel; Willis, Bette L

    2013-01-01

    Cyclone Yasi, one of the most severe tropical storms on record, crossed the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in February 2011, bringing wind speeds of up to 285 km hr⁻¹ and wave heights of at least 10 m, and causing massive destruction to exposed reefs in the Palm Island Group. Following the cyclone, mean (± S.E.) hard coral cover ranged from just 2.1 (0.2) % to 5.3 (0.4) % on exposed reefs and no reproductively mature colonies of any species of Acropora remained. Although no fragments of Acropora were found at impacted exposed sites following the cyclone, small juvenile colonies of Acropora (reefs appeared to be unaffected by the cyclone. Mean (± S.E.) hard coral cover ranged from 18.2 (2.4) % to 30.0 (1.0) % and a large proportion of colonies of Acropora were reproductively mature. Macroalgae accounted for 8 to 16% of benthic cover at exposed sites impacted by cyclone Yasi but were absent at sheltered sites. Mean (± S.E.) recruitment of acroporids to settlement tiles declined from 25.3 (4.8) recruits tile⁻¹ in the pre-cyclone spawning event (2010) to 15.4 (2.2) recruits tile⁻¹ in the first post-cyclone spawning event (2011). Yet, post-cyclone recruitment did not differ between exposed (15.2±2.1 S.E.) and sheltered sites (15.6±2.2 S.E.), despite the loss of reproductive colonies at the exposed sites, indicating larval input from external sources. Spatial variation in impacts, the survival of small colonies, and larval replenishment to impacted reefs suggest that populations of Acropora have the potential to recover from this severe disturbance, provided that the Palm Islands are not impacted by acute disturbances or suffer additional chronic stressors in the near future.

  11. Larval midgut modifications associated with Bti resistance in the yellow fever mosquito using proteomic and transcriptomic approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Tetreau Guillaume; Bayyareddy Krishnareddy; Jones Christopher M; Stalinski Renaud; Riaz Muhammad A; Paris Margot; David Jean-Philippe; Adang Michael J; Després Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) is a natural larval mosquito pathogen producing pore-forming toxins targeting the midgut of Diptera larvae. It is used worldwide for mosquito control. Resistance mechanisms of an Aedes aegypti laboratory strain selected for 30 generations with field-collected leaf litter containing Bti toxins were investigated in larval midguts at two levels: 1. gene transcription using DNA microarray and RT-qPCR and 2. differential expression ...

  12. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulina Kaniewska

    Full Text Available Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5 decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification.

  13. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification. PMID:26510159

  14. The importance of coral larval recruitment for the recovery of reefs impacted by cyclone Yasi in the central Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vimoksalehi Lukoschek

    Full Text Available Cyclone Yasi, one of the most severe tropical storms on record, crossed the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR in February 2011, bringing wind speeds of up to 285 km hr⁻¹ and wave heights of at least 10 m, and causing massive destruction to exposed reefs in the Palm Island Group. Following the cyclone, mean (± S.E. hard coral cover ranged from just 2.1 (0.2 % to 5.3 (0.4 % on exposed reefs and no reproductively mature colonies of any species of Acropora remained. Although no fragments of Acropora were found at impacted exposed sites following the cyclone, small juvenile colonies of Acropora (<10 cm diameter were present, suggesting that their small size and compact morphologies enabled them to survive the cyclone. By contrast, sheltered reefs appeared to be unaffected by the cyclone. Mean (± S.E. hard coral cover ranged from 18.2 (2.4 % to 30.0 (1.0 % and a large proportion of colonies of Acropora were reproductively mature. Macroalgae accounted for 8 to 16% of benthic cover at exposed sites impacted by cyclone Yasi but were absent at sheltered sites. Mean (± S.E. recruitment of acroporids to settlement tiles declined from 25.3 (4.8 recruits tile⁻¹ in the pre-cyclone spawning event (2010 to 15.4 (2.2 recruits tile⁻¹ in the first post-cyclone spawning event (2011. Yet, post-cyclone recruitment did not differ between exposed (15.2±2.1 S.E. and sheltered sites (15.6±2.2 S.E., despite the loss of reproductive colonies at the exposed sites, indicating larval input from external sources. Spatial variation in impacts, the survival of small colonies, and larval replenishment to impacted reefs suggest that populations of Acropora have the potential to recover from this severe disturbance, provided that the Palm Islands are not impacted by acute disturbances or suffer additional chronic stressors in the near future.

  15. Developmental Transcriptome Analysis and Identification of Genes Involved in Larval Metamorphosis of the Razor Clam, Sinonovacula constricta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Donghong; Wang, Fei; Xie, Shumei; Sun, Fanyue; Wang, Ze; Peng, Maoxiao; Li, Jiale

    2016-04-01

    The razor clam Sinonovacula constricta is an important commercial species. The deficiency of developmental transcriptomic data is becoming the bottleneck of further researches on the mechanisms underlying settlement and metamorphosis in early development. In this study, de novo transcriptome sequencing was performed for S. constricta at different early developmental stages by using Illumina HiSeq 2000 paired-end (PE) sequencing technology. A total of 112,209,077 PE clean reads were generated. De novo assembly generated 249,795 contigs with an average length of 585 bp. Gene annotation resulted in the identification of 22,870 unigene hits against the NCBI database. Eight unique sequences related to metamorphosis were identified and analyzed using real-time PCR. The razor clam reference transcriptome would provide useful information on early developmental and metamorphosis mechanisms and could be used in the genetic breeding of shellfish.

  16. Transcriptome Analysis of Drosophila melanogaster Third Instar Larval Ring Glands Points to Novel Functions and Uncovers a Cytochrome p450 Required for Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christesen, Danielle; Yang, Ying Ting; Somers, Jason; Robin, Charles; Sztal, Tamar; Batterham, Philip; Perry, Trent

    2016-01-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster larvae, the ring gland (RG) is a control center that orchestrates major developmental transitions. It is a composite organ, consisting of the prothoracic gland, the corpus allatum, and the corpora cardiaca, each of which synthesizes and secretes a different hormone. Until now, the RG’s broader developmental roles beyond endocrine secretion have not been explored. RNA sequencing and analysis of a new transcriptome resource from D. melanogaster wandering third instar larval RGs has provided a fascinating insight into the diversity of developmental signaling in this organ. We have found strong enrichment of expression of two gene pathways not previously associated with the RG: immune response and fatty acid metabolism. We have also uncovered strong expression for many uncharacterized genes. Additionally, RNA interference against RG-enriched cytochrome p450s Cyp6u1 and Cyp6g2 produced a lethal ecdysone deficiency and a juvenile hormone deficiency, respectively, flagging a critical role for these genes in hormone synthesis. This transcriptome provides a valuable new resource for investigation of roles played by the RG in governing insect development. PMID:27974438

  17. Life history, larval dispersal, and connectivity in coral reef fish among the Scattered Islands of the Mozambique Channel

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, James L.; Beldade, Ricardo; Mills, Suzanne C.; Williams, Hannah E.; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2017-03-01

    The Western Indian Ocean harbors one of the world's most diverse marine biota yet is threatened by exploitation with few conservation measures in place. Primary candidates for conservation in the region are the Scattered Islands (Îles Éparses), a group of relatively pristine and uninhabited islands in the Mozambique Channel. However, while optimal conservation strategies depend on the degree of population connectivity among spatially isolated habitats, very few studies have been conducted in the area. Here, we use highly variable microsatellite markers from two damselfishes ( Amphiprion akallopisos and Dascyllus trimaculatus) with differing life history traits [pelagic larval duration (PLD), adult habitat] to compare genetic structure and connectivity among these islands using classic population structure indices as well as Bayesian clustering methods. All classical fixation indexes F ST, R ST, G'ST, and Jost's D show stronger genetic differentiation among islands for A. akallopisos compared to D. trimaculatus, consistent with the former species' shorter PLD and stronger adult site attachment, which may restrict larval dispersal potential. In agreement with these results, the Bayesian analysis revealed clear genetic differentiation among the islands in A. akallopisos, separating the southern group (Bassas da India and Europa) from the center (Juan de Nova) and northern (Îles Glorieuses) islands, but not for D. trimaculatus. Local oceanographic patterns such as eddies that occur along the Mozambique Channel appear to parallel the results reported for A. akallopisos, but such features seem to have little effect on the genetic differentiation of D. trimaculatus. The contrasting patterns of genetic differentiation between species within the same family highlight the importance of accounting for diverse life history traits when assessing community-wide connectivity, an increasingly common consideration in conservation planning.

  18. Temporal and spatial expression patterns of biomineralization proteins during early development in the stony coral Pocillopora damicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Tali; Putnam, Hollie M; Drake, Jeana L; Zelzion, Ehud; Gates, Ruth D; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Falkowski, Paul G

    2016-04-27

    Reef-building corals begin as non-calcifying larvae that, upon settling, rapidly begin to accrete skeleton and a protein-rich skeletal organic matrix that attach them to the reef. Here, we characterized the temporal and spatial expression pattern of a suite of biomineralization genes during three stages of larval development in the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis: stage I, newly released; stage II, oral-aborally compressed and stage III, settled and calcifying spat. Transcriptome analysis revealed 3882 differentially expressed genes that clustered into four distinctly different patterns of expression change across the three developmental stages. Immunolocalization analysis further reveals the spatial arrangement of coral acid-rich proteins (CARPs) in the overall architecture of the emerging skeleton. These results provide the first analysis of the timing of the biomineralization 'toolkit' in the early life history of a stony coral. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Exploration of immunoglobulin transcriptomes from mice immunized with three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2 from the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Engmark, Mikael; Clouser, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    to a single antigen. Combined with the titration of toxin-specific antibodies in the sera of immunized mice, these data support the low immunogenicity of three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2 found in M. nigrocinctus venoms, and highlight the need for future studies analyzing the complexity of antibody...... small but potent snake venom toxins represents a challenge for obtaining a balanced immune response against the medically relevant components of the venom. Here, we employ high-throughput sequencing of the immunoglobulin (Ig) transcriptome of mice immunized with a three-finger toxin and a phospholipase...... A2 from the venom of the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus. Although exploratory in nature, our indicate results showed that only low frequencies of mRNA encoding IgG isotypes, the most relevant isotype for therapeutic purposes, were present in splenocytes of five mice immunized...

  20. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) reveals high venom complexity in the intragenomic evolution of venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margres, Mark J; Aronow, Karalyn; Loyacano, Jacob; Rokyta, Darin R

    2013-08-02

    Snake venom is shaped by the ecology and evolution of venomous species, and signals of positive selection in toxins have been consistently documented, reflecting the role of venoms as an ecologically critical phenotype. New World coral snakes (Elapidae) are represented by three genera and over 120 species and subspecies that are capable of causing significant human morbidity and mortality, yet coral-snake venom composition is poorly understood in comparison to that of Old World elapids. High-throughput sequencing is capable of identifying thousands of loci, while providing characterizations of expression patterns and the molecular evolutionary forces acting within the venom gland. We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We identified 1,950 nontoxin transcripts and 116 toxin transcripts. These transcripts accounted for 57.1% of the total reads, with toxins accounting for 45.8% of the total reads. Phospholipases A(2) and three-finger toxins dominated expression, accounting for 86.0% of the toxin reads. A total of 15 toxin families were identified, revealing venom complexity previously unknown from New World coral snakes. Toxins exhibited high levels of heterozygosity relative to nontoxins, and overdominance may favor gene duplication leading to the fixation of advantageous alleles. Phospholipase A(2) expression was uniformly distributed throughout the class while three-finger toxin expression was dominated by a handful of transcripts, and phylogenetic analyses indicate that toxin divergence may have occurred following speciation. Positive selection was detected in three of the four most diverse toxin classes, suggesting that venom diversification is driven by recurrent directional selection. We describe the most complete characterization of an elapid venom gland to date. Toxin gene duplication may be driven by heterozygote advantage, as the frequency of polymorphic toxin loci was

  1. Exploration of immunoglobulin transcriptomes from mice immunized with three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2 from the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas H. Laustsen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebite envenomings represent a neglected public health issue in many parts of the rural tropical world. Animal-derived antivenoms have existed for more than a hundred years and are effective in neutralizing snake venom toxins when timely administered. However, the low immunogenicity of many small but potent snake venom toxins represents a challenge for obtaining a balanced immune response against the medically relevant components of the venom. Here, we employ high-throughput sequencing of the immunoglobulin (Ig transcriptome of mice immunized with a three-finger toxin and a phospholipase A2 from the venom of the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus. Although exploratory in nature, our indicate results showed that only low frequencies of mRNA encoding IgG isotypes, the most relevant isotype for therapeutic purposes, were present in splenocytes of five mice immunized with 6 doses of the two types of toxins over 90 days. Furthermore, analysis of Ig heavy chain transcripts showed that no particular combination of variable (V and joining (J gene segments had been selected in the immunization process, as would be expected after a strong humoral immune response to a single antigen. Combined with the titration of toxin-specific antibodies in the sera of immunized mice, these data support the low immunogenicity of three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2found in M. nigrocinctusvenoms, and highlight the need for future studies analyzing the complexity of antibody responses to toxins at the molecular level.

  2. Exploration of immunoglobulin transcriptomes from mice immunized with three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2 from the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engmark, Mikael; Clouser, Christopher; Timberlake, Sonia; Vigneault, Francois; Gutiérrez, José María; Lomonte, Bruno

    2017-01-01

    Snakebite envenomings represent a neglected public health issue in many parts of the rural tropical world. Animal-derived antivenoms have existed for more than a hundred years and are effective in neutralizing snake venom toxins when timely administered. However, the low immunogenicity of many small but potent snake venom toxins represents a challenge for obtaining a balanced immune response against the medically relevant components of the venom. Here, we employ high-throughput sequencing of the immunoglobulin (Ig) transcriptome of mice immunized with a three-finger toxin and a phospholipase A2 from the venom of the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus. Although exploratory in nature, our indicate results showed that only low frequencies of mRNA encoding IgG isotypes, the most relevant isotype for therapeutic purposes, were present in splenocytes of five mice immunized with 6 doses of the two types of toxins over 90 days. Furthermore, analysis of Ig heavy chain transcripts showed that no particular combination of variable (V) and joining (J) gene segments had been selected in the immunization process, as would be expected after a strong humoral immune response to a single antigen. Combined with the titration of toxin-specific antibodies in the sera of immunized mice, these data support the low immunogenicity of three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2found in M. nigrocinctusvenoms, and highlight the need for future studies analyzing the complexity of antibody responses to toxins at the molecular level. PMID:28149694

  3. Trehalose is a chemical attractant in the establishment of coral symbiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Hagedorn

    Full Text Available Coral reefs have evolved with a crucial symbiosis between photosynthetic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium and their cnidarian hosts (Scleractinians. Most coral larvae take up Symbiodinium from their environment; however, the earliest steps in this process have been elusive. Here we demonstrate that the disaccharide trehalose may be an important signal from the symbiont to potential larval hosts. Symbiodinium freshly isolated from Fungia scutaria corals constantly released trehalose (but not sucrose, maltose or glucose into seawater, and released glycerol only in the presence of coral tissue. Spawning Fungia adults increased symbiont number in their immediate area by excreting pellets of Symbiodinium, and when these naturally discharged Symbiodinium were cultured, they also released trehalose. In Y-maze experiments, coral larvae demonstrated chemoattractant and feeding behaviors only towards a chamber with trehalose or glycerol. Concomitantly, coral larvae and adult tissue, but not symbionts, had significant trehalase enzymatic activities, suggesting the capacity to utilize trehalose. Trehalase activity was developmentally regulated in F. scutaria larvae, rising as the time for symbiont uptake occurs. Consistent with the enzymatic assays, gene finding demonstrated the presence of a trehalase enzyme in the genome of a related coral, Acropora digitifera, and a likely trehalase in the transcriptome of F. scutaria. Taken together, these data suggest that adult F. scutaria seed the reef with Symbiodinium during spawning and the exuded Symbiodinium release trehalose into the environment, which acts as a chemoattractant for F. scutaria larvae and as an initiator of feeding behavior- the first stages toward establishing the coral-Symbiodinium relationship. Because trehalose is a fixed carbon compound, this cue would accurately demonstrate to the cnidarian larvae the photosynthetic ability of the potential symbiont in the ambient environment. To our

  4. From transcriptome to biological function: environmental stress in an ectothermic vertebrate, the coral reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Alister C

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our understanding of the importance of transcriptional regulation for biological function is continuously improving. We still know, however, comparatively little about how environmentally induced stress affects gene expression in vertebrates, and the consistency of transcriptional stress responses to different types of environmental stress. In this study, we used a multi-stressor approach to identify components of a common stress response as well as components unique to different types of environmental stress. We exposed individuals of the coral reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis to hypoxic, hyposmotic, cold and heat shock and measured the responses of approximately 16,000 genes in liver. We also compared winter and summer responses to heat shock to examine the capacity for such responses to vary with acclimation to different ambient temperatures. Results We identified a series of gene functions that were involved in all stress responses examined here, suggesting some common effects of stress on biological function. These common responses were achieved by the regulation of largely independent sets of genes; the responses of individual genes varied greatly across different stress types. In response to heat exposure over five days, a total of 324 gene loci were differentially expressed. Many heat-responsive genes had functions associated with protein turnover, metabolism, and the response to oxidative stress. We were also able to identify groups of co-regulated genes, the genes within which shared similar functions. Conclusion This is the first environmental genomic study to measure gene regulation in response to different environmental stressors in a natural population of a warm-adapted ectothermic vertebrate. We have shown that different types of environmental stress induce expression changes in genes with similar gene functions, but that the responses of individual genes vary between stress types. The functions of heat

  5. Spatial variability of coastal flow along a coral reef-lined Pacific Island; implications for larval, nutrient, and pollutant dispersal and retention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberger, K. J.; Storlazzi, C. D.; Cheriton, O. M.; Logan, J. B.; Clark, T.

    2016-02-01

    Vessel mounted ADCP surveys of currents were conducted along a 15-km section of the northern coast of Tutuila, American Samoa, during February 2015. Over the course of four days, 9 primary transects were successively run to characterize the currents over varying stages of the tide. In addition, wind speed and direction were measured from the vessel to characterize variability in the wind field over the survey area. Large-scale currents along the coast appear to be controlled by regional flows, and not the tidal cycle or even regional winds, resulting in a large eddy on the windward side of a prominent headland that was in the lee of the regional flow. Strong cross-shore shear was noted along most of the transects, sometimes resulting in reversing flow between the nearshore and offshore. The combination of a regional eddy and strong shear in the nearshore that is characteristic of a coastal boundary layer result in a flow field that favors retention of suspended matter such as larvae and/or nutrients and contaminants that can influence the coastline's coral reef ecosystems.

  6. A Possible Role for Vitamin C in Coral Calcification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, J. J.; Roberson, L.; Vazquez, N.

    2016-02-01

    Despite the importance of coral reefs to tropical, marine ecosystems, the biological components of the calcification process are poorly understood. Because calcification must involve the delivery of organic and inorganic components across cell membranes, we postulate that it has similar features to epithelial and neuronal transport mechanisms in vertebrates. Accordingly, we are interested in identifying the specific membrane transporters underlying skeleton formation. As a model, we are using larvae from the ubiquitous Caribbean species Porites astreoides, a rapidly growing stony coral that is resistant to anthropogenic stressors. Using Illumina RNAseq, we assembled a larval transcriptome and compared gene expression between swimming larvae and recently settled ones that had just commenced the process of calcification. As expected, we identified many ion transporter, pump and channel transcripts that were upregulated in settled larvae. It was surprising, however, to find that the most upregulated transcript appeared to encode a Na-dependent Vitamin C transporter (SLC23A). In vertebrates, SLC23A transporters play a vital role in bone morphogenesis where Vitamin C is an essential cofactor for enzymes that condition collagen precursors for assembly into mature molecules. In corals, collagen has been identified as a component of the skeleton's extracellular matrix. Using in situ hybridization, we showed that the P. astreoides SLC23A messages were expressed in regions adjacent to rapid skeleton formation, on the aboral surface and septa of settled larvae. To confirm that the coral clone is indeed a Vitamin C transporter, we expressed it in Xenopus oocytes and studied its activity using voltage-clamp. Preliminary data demonstrate that it induces a current that is activated by Na and Vitamin C. This approach will help us better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying calcification and how they might respond to environmental change.

  7. Coral microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Kellogg, Christina A.; Rohwer, Forest

    2007-01-01

    In the last 30 years, there has been approximately a 30% loss of corals worldwide, largely due to emerging diseases (Harvell et al., 2002, 2007; Hughes et al., 2003). Coral microbiology is a new field, driven largely by a desire to understand the interactions between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms and to use this knowledge to eventually prevent the spread of coral diseases.

  8. Bottlenecks to coral recovery in the Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong-Seng, K. M.; Graham, N. A. J.; Pratchett, M. S.

    2014-06-01

    Processes that affect recovery of coral assemblages require investigation because coral reefs are experiencing a diverse array of more frequent disturbances. Potential bottlenecks to coral recovery include limited larval supply, low rates of settlement, and high mortality of new recruits or juvenile corals. We investigated spatial variation in local abundance of scleractinian corals in the Seychelles at three distinct life history stages (recruits, juveniles, and adults) on reefs with differing benthic conditions. Following widespread coral loss due to the 1998 bleaching event, some reefs are recovering (i.e., relatively high scleractinian coral cover: `coral-dominated'), some reefs have low cover of living macrobenthos and unconsolidated rubble substrates (`rubble-dominated'), and some reefs have high cover of macroalgae (`macroalgal-dominated'). Rates of coral recruitment to artificial settlement tiles were similar across all reef conditions, suggesting that larval supply does not explain differential coral recovery across the three reef types. However, acroporid recruits were absent on macroalgal-dominated reefs (0.0 ± 0.0 recruits tile-1) in comparison to coral-dominated reefs (5.2 ± 1.6 recruits tile-1). Juvenile coral colony density was significantly lower on macroalgal-dominated reefs (2.4 ± 1.1 colonies m-2), compared to coral-dominated reefs (16.8 ± 2.4 m-2) and rubble-dominated reefs (33.1 ± 7.3 m-2), suggesting that macroalgal-dominated reefs have either a bottleneck to successful settlement on the natural substrates or a high post-settlement mortality bottleneck. Rubble-dominated reefs had very low cover of adult corals (10.0 ± 1.7 %) compared to coral-dominated reefs (33.4 ± 3.6 %) despite no statistical difference in their juvenile coral densities. A bottleneck caused by low juvenile colony survivorship on unconsolidated rubble-dominated reefs is possible, or alternatively, recruitment to rubble-dominated reefs has only recently begun. This

  9. Location-specific responses to thermal stress in larvae of the reef-building coral Montastraea faveolata.

    KAUST Repository

    Polato, Nicholas R

    2010-06-23

    The potential to adapt to a changing climate depends in part upon the standing genetic variation present in wild populations. In corals, the dispersive larval phase is particularly vulnerable to the effects of environmental stress. Larval survival and response to stress during dispersal and settlement will play a key role in the persistence of coral populations.

  10. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    This chapter deals with biology of corals, coral reefs (in general) and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Biology of corals is lucidly dealt with, beginning from the clarification on hermatypic and ahermatypic forms. A complete account...

  11. Coral thermal tolerance: tuning gene expression to resist thermal stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J Bellantuono

    Full Text Available The acclimatization capacity of corals is a critical consideration in the persistence of coral reefs under stresses imposed by global climate change. The stress history of corals plays a role in subsequent response to heat stress, but the transcriptomic changes associated with these plastic changes have not been previously explored. In order to identify host transcriptomic changes associated with acquired thermal tolerance in the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora, corals preconditioned to a sub-lethal temperature of 3°C below bleaching threshold temperature were compared to both non-preconditioned corals and untreated controls using a cDNA microarray platform. After eight days of hyperthermal challenge, conditions under which non-preconditioned corals bleached and preconditioned corals (thermal-tolerant maintained Symbiodinium density, a clear differentiation in the transcriptional profiles was revealed among the condition examined. Among these changes, nine differentially expressed genes separated preconditioned corals from non-preconditioned corals, with 42 genes differentially expressed between control and preconditioned treatments, and 70 genes between non-preconditioned corals and controls. Differentially expressed genes included components of an apoptotic signaling cascade, which suggest the inhibition of apoptosis in preconditioned corals. Additionally, lectins and genes involved in response to oxidative stress were also detected. One dominant pattern was the apparent tuning of gene expression observed between preconditioned and non-preconditioned treatments; that is, differences in expression magnitude were more apparent than differences in the identity of genes differentially expressed. Our work revealed a transcriptomic signature underlying the tolerance associated with coral thermal history, and suggests that understanding the molecular mechanisms behind physiological acclimatization would be critical for the modeling of reefs

  12. Elevated Temperature and Allelopathy Impact Coral Recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Ross, Cliff; Paul, Valerie J

    2016-01-01

    As climate change continues to alter seawater temperature and chemistry on a global scale, coral reefs show multiple signs of degradation. One natural process that could facilitate the recovery of reef ecosystems is coral recruitment, which can be influenced by the benthic organisms in a local habitat. We experimentally tested both a global stressor (increased seawater temperature) and a local stressor (exposure to microcolin A, a natural product from a common marine benthic cyanobacterium) to determine how these stressors impacted coral larval sublethal stress, survival and settlement. Larvae of Porites astreoides had the same survival and settlement as the controls after exposure to increased temperature alone, but elevated temperature did cause oxidative stress. When exposed to natural concentrations of microcolin A, larval survival and settlement were significantly reduced. When larvae were exposed to these two stressors sequentially there was no interactive effect; but when exposed to both stressors simultaneously, there was a synergistic reduction in larval survival and an increase in oxidative stress more than in either stressor treatment alone. Increased seawater temperatures made larvae more susceptible to a concurrent local stressor disrupting a key process of coral reef recovery and resilience. These results highlight the importance of understanding how interactive stressors of varying spatial scales can impact coral demographics.

  13. Coral choreography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    Viewers clicking onto the Waikiki Aquarium's “Coral Research Cam” any time during daylight hours in Hawaii can catch the latest action of three species of living corals (Acropora sp., Acropora elseyi,and Montipora digitata) and the yellow tang and blue tang fish swimming amongst them in an outdoor aquarium.Waikiki Aquarium Director Bruce Carlson says the camera is part of a new exhibit, “Corals Are Alive!,” which encourages people to view living corals close-up at the aquarium or via the Internet, in order to gain a better appreciation of the corals. “Hopefully through education and awareness, people will be more interested and willing to help with conservation efforts to preserve coral reefs,” says Carlson.

  14. Corals like it waxed: paraffin-based antifouling technology enhances coral spat survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tebben, Jan; Guest, James R; Sin, Tsai M; Steinberg, Peter D; Harder, Tilmann

    2014-01-01

    The early post-settlement stage is the most sensitive during the life history of reef building corals. However, few studies have examined the factors that influence coral mortality during this period. Here, the impact of fouling on the survival of newly settled coral spat of Acropora millepora was investigated by manipulating the extent of fouling cover on settlement tiles using non-toxic, wax antifouling coatings. Survival of spat on coated tiles was double that on control tiles. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between percentage cover of fouling and spat survival across all tiles types, suggesting that fouling in direct proximity to settled corals has detrimental effects on early post-settlement survival. While previous studies have shown that increased fouling negatively affects coral larval settlement and health of juvenile and adult corals, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show a direct relationship between fouling and early post-settlement survival for a broadcast spawning scleractinian coral. The negative effects of fouling on this sensitive life history stage may become more pronounced in the future as coastal eutrophication increases. Our results further suggest that targeted seeding of coral spat on artificial surfaces in combination with fouling control could prove useful to improve the efficiency of sexual reproduction-based coral propagation for reef rehabilitation.

  15. Corals like it waxed: paraffin-based antifouling technology enhances coral spat survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tebben

    Full Text Available The early post-settlement stage is the most sensitive during the life history of reef building corals. However, few studies have examined the factors that influence coral mortality during this period. Here, the impact of fouling on the survival of newly settled coral spat of Acropora millepora was investigated by manipulating the extent of fouling cover on settlement tiles using non-toxic, wax antifouling coatings. Survival of spat on coated tiles was double that on control tiles. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between percentage cover of fouling and spat survival across all tiles types, suggesting that fouling in direct proximity to settled corals has detrimental effects on early post-settlement survival. While previous studies have shown that increased fouling negatively affects coral larval settlement and health of juvenile and adult corals, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show a direct relationship between fouling and early post-settlement survival for a broadcast spawning scleractinian coral. The negative effects of fouling on this sensitive life history stage may become more pronounced in the future as coastal eutrophication increases. Our results further suggest that targeted seeding of coral spat on artificial surfaces in combination with fouling control could prove useful to improve the efficiency of sexual reproduction-based coral propagation for reef rehabilitation.

  16. RNA-Seq of the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata (Scleractinia-Merulinidae under bleaching and disease stress expands models of coral innate immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Anderson

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change-driven coral disease outbreaks have led to widespread declines in coral populations. Early work on coral genomics established that corals have a complex innate immune system, and whole-transcriptome gene expression studies have revealed mechanisms by which the coral immune system responds to stress and disease. The present investigation expands bioinformatic data available to study coral molecular physiology through the assembly and annotation of a reference transcriptome of the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata. Samples were collected during a warm water thermal anomaly, coral bleaching event and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in 2010 in Puerto Rico. Multiplex sequencing of RNA on the Illumina GAIIx platform and de novo transcriptome assembly by Trinity produced 70,745,177 raw short-sequence reads and 32,463 O. faveolata transcripts, respectively. The reference transcriptome was annotated with gene ontologies, mapped to KEGG pathways, and a predicted proteome of 20,488 sequences was generated. Protein families and signaling pathways that are essential in the regulation of innate immunity across Phyla were investigated in-depth. Results were used to develop models of evolutionarily conserved Wnt, Notch, Rig-like receptor, Nod-like receptor, and Dicer signaling. O. faveolata is a coral species that has been studied widely under climate-driven stress and disease, and the present investigation provides new data on the genes that putatively regulate its immune system.

  17. RNA-Seq of the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata (Scleractinia-Merulinidae) under bleaching and disease stress expands models of coral innate immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David A; Walz, Marcus E; Weil, Ernesto; Tonellato, Peter; Smith, Matthew C

    2016-01-01

    Climate change-driven coral disease outbreaks have led to widespread declines in coral populations. Early work on coral genomics established that corals have a complex innate immune system, and whole-transcriptome gene expression studies have revealed mechanisms by which the coral immune system responds to stress and disease. The present investigation expands bioinformatic data available to study coral molecular physiology through the assembly and annotation of a reference transcriptome of the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata. Samples were collected during a warm water thermal anomaly, coral bleaching event and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in 2010 in Puerto Rico. Multiplex sequencing of RNA on the Illumina GAIIx platform and de novo transcriptome assembly by Trinity produced 70,745,177 raw short-sequence reads and 32,463 O. faveolata transcripts, respectively. The reference transcriptome was annotated with gene ontologies, mapped to KEGG pathways, and a predicted proteome of 20,488 sequences was generated. Protein families and signaling pathways that are essential in the regulation of innate immunity across Phyla were investigated in-depth. Results were used to develop models of evolutionarily conserved Wnt, Notch, Rig-like receptor, Nod-like receptor, and Dicer signaling. O. faveolata is a coral species that has been studied widely under climate-driven stress and disease, and the present investigation provides new data on the genes that putatively regulate its immune system.

  18. Coral reproduction in Western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Gilmour

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes and timing of coral reproduction. Most corals are hermaphroditic or gonochoric, with a brooding or broadcast spawning mode of reproduction. Brooding corals are a significant component of some reefs and produce larvae over consecutive months. Broadcast spawning corals are more common and display considerable variation in their patterns of spawning among reefs. Highly synchronous spawning can occur on reefs around Australia, particularly on the Great Barrier Reef. On Australia’s remote north-west coast there have been fewer studies of coral reproduction. The recent industrial expansion into these regions has facilitated research, but the associated data are often contained within confidential reports. Here we combine information in this grey-literature with that available publicly to update our knowledge of coral reproduction in WA, for tens of thousands of corals and hundreds of species from over a dozen reefs spanning 20° of latitude. We identified broad patterns in coral reproduction, but more detailed insights were hindered by biased sampling; most studies focused on species of Acropora sampled over a few months at several reefs. Within the existing data, there was a latitudinal gradient in spawning activity among seasons, with mass spawning during autumn occurring on all reefs (but the temperate south-west. Participation in a smaller, multi-specific spawning during spring decreased from approximately one quarter of corals on the Kimberley Oceanic reefs to little participation at Ningaloo. Within these seasons, spawning was concentrated in March and/or April, and October and/or November, depending

  19. Bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koty H Sharp

    Full Text Available 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 bacterial-coral associations are initiated and whether they are dynamic throughout early development. This study focuses on the early onset of bacterial associations in the mass spawning corals Montastraea annularis, M. franksi, M. faveolata, Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, Diploria strigosa, and A. humilis. The presence of bacteria and timing of bacterial colonization was evaluated in gametes, swimming planulae, and newly settled polyps by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH using general eubacterial probes and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The coral species investigated in this study do not appear to transmit bacteria via their gametes, and bacteria are not detectable in or on the corals until after settlement and metamorphosis. This study suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This timing lays the groundwork for developing and testing new hypotheses regarding general regulatory mechanisms that control bacterial colonization and infection of corals, and how interactions among bacteria and juvenile polyps influence the structure of bacterial assemblages in corals.

  20. Bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Koty H; Ritchie, Kim B; Schupp, Peter J; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Paul, Valerie J

    2010-05-28

    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 bacterial-coral associations are initiated and whether they are dynamic throughout early development. This study focuses on the early onset of bacterial associations in the mass spawning corals Montastraea annularis, M. franksi, M. faveolata, Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, Diploria strigosa, and A. humilis. The presence of bacteria and timing of bacterial colonization was evaluated in gametes, swimming planulae, and newly settled polyps by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using general eubacterial probes and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The coral species investigated in this study do not appear to transmit bacteria via their gametes, and bacteria are not detectable in or on the corals until after settlement and metamorphosis. This study suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This timing lays the groundwork for developing and testing new hypotheses regarding general regulatory mechanisms that control bacterial colonization and infection of corals, and how interactions among bacteria and juvenile polyps influence the structure of bacterial assemblages in corals.

  1. Application of next-generation sequencing for comparative transcriptome analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Shin, Heesun

    2010-01-01

    I have used novel whole transcriptome sequence data generated from massively parallel high-throughput next generation sequencing technologies, namely 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina sequencing, to perform comparative transcriptome analyses of C. elegans populations in specific biological conditions and developmental stages. Firstly, I have conducted transcriptome profiling of C. elegans in its first larval (L1) stage using data generated from the Roche 454 sequencing platform. I have used thi...

  2. No Reef Is an Island: Integrating Coral Reef Connectivity Data into the Design of Regional-Scale Marine Protected Area Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Schill, Steven R.; Raber, George T.; Roberts, Jason J.; Treml, Eric A.; Jorge Brenner; Patrick N. Halpin

    2015-01-01

    We integrated coral reef connectivity data for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into a conservation decision-making framework for designing a regional scale marine protected area (MPA) network that provides insight into ecological and political contexts. We used an ocean circulation model and regional coral reef data to simulate eight spawning events from 2008-2011, applying a maximum 30-day pelagic larval duration and 20% mortality rate. Coral larval dispersal patterns were analyzed between ...

  3. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Hoey

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32'S, 159°04'E, the worlds' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment, and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4% and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%. Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m(-2, however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha(-1, and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1% with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances.

  4. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages

    KAUST Repository

    Hoey, Andrew

    2011-10-03

    Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience) is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32?S, 159°04?E), the worlds\\' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment), and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4%) and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%). Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m -2), however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha -1), and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1%) with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands\\' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances. © 2011 Hoey et al.

  5. Crowning corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.

    and oil transport, thermal pollution and freshwater inflow are the major threats to corals growing along the urban and industrialised centres. Therefore, a concerted effort from academicians, governmental and non-governmental bodies to educate the public...

  6. Immunity through early development of coral larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, C V; Graham, E; Baird, A H

    2012-10-01

    As a determinant of survival, immunity is likely to be significant in enabling coral larvae to disperse and successfully recruit, however, whether reef-building coral larvae have immune defenses is unknown. We investigated the potential presence and variation in immunity in the lecithotrophic larvae of Acropora tenuis through larval development. Enzymes indicative of tyrosinase and laccase-type melanin-synthesis were quantified, and the concentration of three coral fluorescent proteins was measured over six developmental stages; egg, embryo, motile planula, planula post-exposure to crustose coralline algae (CCA; settlement cue), settled, settled post-exposure to Symbiodinium (endosymbiont). Both types of melanin-synthesis pathways and the three fluorescent proteins were present in A. tenuis throughout development. Laccase-type activity and red fluorescence increased following exposure of planula to CCA, whereas tyrosinase-type activity and cyan fluorescence increased following settlement. No change was detected in the measured parameters following exposure to Symbiodinium. This study is the first to document coral larval immune responses and suggests the melanin-synthesis pathways have disparate roles-the laccase-type potentially non-immunological and the tyrosinase-type in cytotoxic defense. Our results indicate that corals have the potential to resist infection from the earliest life history phase. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauman, Andrew G; Guest, James R; Dunshea, Glenn; Low, Jeffery; Todd, Peter A; Steinberg, Peter D

    2015-01-01

    Processes occurring early in the life stages of corals can greatly influence the demography of coral populations, and successful settlement of coral larvae that leads to recruitment is a critical life history stage for coral reef ecosystems. Although corals in Singapore persist in one the world's most anthropogenically impacted reef systems, our understanding of the role of coral settlement in the persistence of coral communities in Singapore remains limited. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral settlement were examined at 7 sites in the southern islands of Singapore, using settlement tiles deployed and collected every 3 months from 2011 to 2013. Settlement occurred year round, but varied significantly across time and space. Annual coral settlement was low (~54.72 spat m(-2) yr(-1)) relative to other equatorial regions, but there was evidence of temporal variation in settlement rates. Peak settlement occurred between March-May and September-November, coinciding with annual coral spawning periods (March-April and October), while the lowest settlement occurred from December-February during the northeast monsoon. A period of high settlement was also observed between June and August in the first year (2011/12), possibly due to some species spawning outside predicted spawning periods, larvae settling from other locations or extended larval settlement competency periods. Settlement rates varied significantly among sites, but spatial variation was relatively consistent between years, suggesting the strong effects of local coral assemblages or environmental conditions. Pocilloporidae were the most abundant coral spat (83.6%), while Poritidae comprised only 6% of the spat, and Acroporidae coral spat. These results indicate that current settlement patterns are reinforcing the local adult assemblage structure ('others'; i.e. sediment-tolerant coral taxa) in Singapore, but that the replenishment capacity of Singapore's reefs appears relatively constrained, which could lead

  8. Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew G Bauman

    Full Text Available Processes occurring early in the life stages of corals can greatly influence the demography of coral populations, and successful settlement of coral larvae that leads to recruitment is a critical life history stage for coral reef ecosystems. Although corals in Singapore persist in one the world's most anthropogenically impacted reef systems, our understanding of the role of coral settlement in the persistence of coral communities in Singapore remains limited. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral settlement were examined at 7 sites in the southern islands of Singapore, using settlement tiles deployed and collected every 3 months from 2011 to 2013. Settlement occurred year round, but varied significantly across time and space. Annual coral settlement was low (~54.72 spat m(-2 yr(-1 relative to other equatorial regions, but there was evidence of temporal variation in settlement rates. Peak settlement occurred between March-May and September-November, coinciding with annual coral spawning periods (March-April and October, while the lowest settlement occurred from December-February during the northeast monsoon. A period of high settlement was also observed between June and August in the first year (2011/12, possibly due to some species spawning outside predicted spawning periods, larvae settling from other locations or extended larval settlement competency periods. Settlement rates varied significantly among sites, but spatial variation was relatively consistent between years, suggesting the strong effects of local coral assemblages or environmental conditions. Pocilloporidae were the most abundant coral spat (83.6%, while Poritidae comprised only 6% of the spat, and Acroporidae <1%. Other, unidentifiable families represented 10% of the coral spat. These results indicate that current settlement patterns are reinforcing the local adult assemblage structure ('others'; i.e. sediment-tolerant coral taxa in Singapore, but that the replenishment capacity

  9. RNA-seq profiles of immune related genes in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis infected with white band disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libro, Silvia; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Vollmer, Steven V

    2013-01-01

    Coral diseases are among the most serious threats to coral reefs worldwide, yet most coral diseases remain poorly understood. How the coral host responds to pathogen infection is an area where very little is known. Here we used next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) to produce a transcriptome-wide profile of the immune response of the Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis to White Band Disease (WBD) by comparing infected versus healthy (asymptomatic) coral tissues. The transcriptome of A. cervicornis was assembled de novo from A-tail selected Illumina mRNA-seq data from whole coral tissues, and parsed bioinformatically into coral and non-coral transcripts using existing Acropora genomes in order to identify putative coral transcripts. Differentially expressed transcripts were identified in the coral and non-coral datasets to identify genes that were up- and down-regulated due to disease infection. RNA-seq analyses indicate that infected corals exhibited significant changes in gene expression across 4% (1,805 out of 47,748 transcripts) of the coral transcriptome. The primary response to infection included transcripts involved in macrophage-mediated pathogen recognition and ROS production, two hallmarks of phagocytosis, as well as key mediators of apoptosis and calcium homeostasis. The strong up-regulation of the enzyme allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase suggests a key role of the allene oxide pathway in coral immunity. Interestingly, none of the three primary innate immune pathways--Toll-like receptors (TLR), Complement, and prophenoloxydase pathways, were strongly associated with the response of A. cervicornis to infection. Five-hundred and fifty differentially expressed non-coral transcripts were classified as metazoan (n = 84), algal or plant (n = 52), fungi (n = 24) and protozoans (n = 13). None of the 52 putative Symbiodinium or algal transcript had any clear immune functions indicating that the immune response is driven by the coral host, and not its algal

  10. RNA-seq profiles of immune related genes in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis infected with white band disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Libro

    Full Text Available Coral diseases are among the most serious threats to coral reefs worldwide, yet most coral diseases remain poorly understood. How the coral host responds to pathogen infection is an area where very little is known. Here we used next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq to produce a transcriptome-wide profile of the immune response of the Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis to White Band Disease (WBD by comparing infected versus healthy (asymptomatic coral tissues. The transcriptome of A. cervicornis was assembled de novo from A-tail selected Illumina mRNA-seq data from whole coral tissues, and parsed bioinformatically into coral and non-coral transcripts using existing Acropora genomes in order to identify putative coral transcripts. Differentially expressed transcripts were identified in the coral and non-coral datasets to identify genes that were up- and down-regulated due to disease infection. RNA-seq analyses indicate that infected corals exhibited significant changes in gene expression across 4% (1,805 out of 47,748 transcripts of the coral transcriptome. The primary response to infection included transcripts involved in macrophage-mediated pathogen recognition and ROS production, two hallmarks of phagocytosis, as well as key mediators of apoptosis and calcium homeostasis. The strong up-regulation of the enzyme allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase suggests a key role of the allene oxide pathway in coral immunity. Interestingly, none of the three primary innate immune pathways--Toll-like receptors (TLR, Complement, and prophenoloxydase pathways, were strongly associated with the response of A. cervicornis to infection. Five-hundred and fifty differentially expressed non-coral transcripts were classified as metazoan (n = 84, algal or plant (n = 52, fungi (n = 24 and protozoans (n = 13. None of the 52 putative Symbiodinium or algal transcript had any clear immune functions indicating that the immune response is driven by the coral host, and not

  11. Climate change and coral reef connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munday, P. L.; Leis, J. M.; Lough, J. M.; Paris, C. B.; Kingsford, M. J.; Berumen, M. L.; Lambrechts, J.

    2009-06-01

    This review assesses and predicts the impacts that rapid climate change will have on population connectivity in coral reef ecosystems, using fishes as a model group. Increased ocean temperatures are expected to accelerate larval development, potentially leading to reduced pelagic durations and earlier reef-seeking behaviour. Depending on the spatial arrangement of reefs, the expectation would be a reduction in dispersal distances and the spatial scale of connectivity. Small increase in temperature might enhance the number of larvae surviving the pelagic phase, but larger increases are likely to reduce reproductive output and increase larval mortality. Changes to ocean currents could alter the dynamics of larval supply and changes to planktonic productivity could affect how many larvae survive the pelagic stage and their condition at settlement; however, these patterns are likely to vary greatly from place-to-place and projections of how oceanographic features will change in the future lack sufficient certainty and resolution to make robust predictions. Connectivity could also be compromised by the increased fragmentation of reef habitat due to the effects of coral bleaching and ocean acidification. Changes to the spatial and temporal scales of connectivity have implications for the management of coral reef ecosystems, especially the design and placement of marine-protected areas. The size and spacing of protected areas may need to be strategically adjusted if reserve networks are to retain their efficacy in the future.

  12. Inhibition of coral recruitment by macroalgae and cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffner, I.B.; Walters, L.J.; Becerro, M.A.; Paul, V.J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Beach, K.S.

    2006-01-01

    Coral recruitment is a key process in the maintenance and recovery of coral reef ecosystems. While intense competition between coral and algae is often assumed on reefs that have undergone phase shifts from coral to algal dominance, data examining the competitive interactions involved, particularly during the larval and immediate post-settlement stage, are scarce. Using a series of field and outdoor seawater table experiments, we tested the hypothesis that common species of macroalgae and cyanobacteria inhibit coral recruitment. We examined the effects of Lyngbya spp., Dictyota spp., Lobophora variegata (J. V. Lamouroux) Womersley, and Chondrophycus poiteaui (J. V. Lamouroux) Nam (formerly Laurencia poiteaui) on the recruitment success of Porites astreoides larvae. All species but C. poiteaui caused either recruitment inhibition or avoidance behavior in P. astreoides larvae, while L. confervoides and D. menstrualis significantly increased mortality rates of P. astreoides recruits. We also tested the effect of some of these macrophytes on larvae of the gorgonian octocoral Briareum asbestinum. Exposure to Lyngbya majuscula reduced survival and recruitment in the octocoral larvae. Our results provide evidence that algae and cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. On reefs experiencing phase shifts or temporary algal blooms, the restocking of adult coral populations may be slowed due to recruitment inhibition, thereby perpetuating reduced coral cover and limiting coral community recovery. ?? Inter-Research 2006.

  13. Larval fish nutrition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, J

    2011-01-01

    ... introduction to fish micronutrient history 4.2 Micronutrients in larval feeds 4.3 Requirements versus recommendations 4.4 Vitamins 4.5 Minerals 34.6 Future challenges Section 2: Nutritional Physi...

  14. The impact of benthic algae on the settlement of a reef-building coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Pulido, G.; Harii, S.; McCook, L. J.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2010-03-01

    The capacity of corals to re-establish in degraded and algal-dominated habitats will depend on the effects of algae on coral settlement and growth. We tested the effect of 11 macroalgal species, of widely different functional-forms, on swimming and settlement by larvae of the coral Platygyra daedalea from the Great Barrier Reef. Algal turfs and the crustose calcareous algae groups had minor effects on coral settlement, while upright calcareous and fleshy macroalgae inhibited settlement. However, the extent of inhibition of larval settlement differed amongst upright macroalgal species, variations that were not well explained by physical differences and probably reflect chemical differences not explained by functional-form. Thus, while algal functional-form is useful in identifying general competition patterns, more detailed taxonomic and chemical approaches may be required to fully understand algal effects on corals. Different macroalgal communities on degraded reefs may have different effects on coral settlement, and hence on coral population resilience.

  15. Lost opportunities: coral recruitment does not translate to reef recovery in the Florida Keys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Woesik, Robert; Scott, William J; Aronson, Richard B

    2014-11-15

    We tested the hypothesis that the poor recovery of the coral populations on reefs in the Florida Keys is related to low coral recruitment. In the summer of 2011, we deployed 240 terracotta tiles at eight study sites in a balanced design: (i) among three depths; and (ii) between fished and unfished reefs. Corals recruited to ∼ 40% of the deployed tiles, with more corals settling on tiles on unfished reefs than on fished reefs. The apparent effect of protection was not a consequence of different densities of herbivorous fishes, but was more likely related to local hydrography and the tendency of the no-take reserves to act as larval sinks, particularly in the lower Florida Keys. There was a mismatch between the coral taxa that recruited and the adult coral assemblages, suggesting that recruits were arriving but not surviving to contribute to coral recovery.

  16. Chemically-mediated interactions between macroalgae Dictyota spp. and multiple life-history stages of the coral Porites astreoides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Valerie J.; Kuffner, Ilsa B.; Walters, Linda J.; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Beach, Kevin S.; Becerro, Mikel A.

    2011-01-01

    Competition between corals and macroalgae is often assumed to occur on reefs, especially those that have undergone shifts from coral to algal dominance; however, data examining these competitive interactions, especially during the early life-history stages of corals, are scarce. We conducted a series of field and outdoor seawater-table experiments to test the hypothesis that allelopathy (chemical inhibition) mediates interactions between 2 common brown macroalgae, Dictyota pulchella and D. pinnatifida, and the coral Porites astreoides at different life-history stages of the coral. D. pinnatifida significantly reduced larval survival and larval recruitment. The extracts of both D. pinnatifida and D. pulchella significantly reduced larval survival, and the extract of D. pulchella also negatively influenced larval recruitment. There was no measurable effect of the crude extracts from Dictyota spp. on the photophysiology of adult corals. Our results provide evidence that these Dictyota species chemically compete with P. astreoides by negatively affecting larval settlement and recruitment as well as the survival of larvae and new recruits. Macroalgae may perpetuate their dominance on degraded reefs by chemically inhibiting the process of coral recruitment.

  17. Chemically mediated interactions between macroalgae Dictyota spp. and multiple life-history stages of the coral Porites astreoides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, V.J.; Kuffner, I.B.; Walters, L.J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Beach, K.S.; Becerro, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    Competition between corals and macroalgae is often assumed to occur on reefs, especially those that have undergone shifts from coral to algal dominance; however, data examining these competitive interactions, especially during the early life-history stages of corals, are scarce. We conducted a series of field and outdoor seawater-table experiments to test the hypothesis that allelopathy (chemical inhibition) mediates interactions between 2 common brown macroalgae, Dictyota pulchella and D. pinnatifida, and the coral Porites astreoides at different life-history stages of the coral. D. pinnatifida significantly reduced larval survival and larval recruitment. The extracts of both D. pinnatifida and D. pulchella significantly reduced larval survival, and the extract of D. pulchella also negatively influenced larval recruitment. There was no measurable effect of the crude extracts from Dictyota spp. on the photophysiology of adult corals. Our results provide evidence that these Dictyota species chemically compete with P. astreoides by negatively affecting larval settlement and recruitment as well as the survival of larvae and new recruits. Macroalgae may perpetuate their dominance on degraded reefs by chemically inhibiting the process of coral recruitment. ?? 2011 Inter-Research.

  18. Water contamination reduces the tolerance of coral larvae to thermal stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P Negri

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are highly susceptible to climate change, with elevated sea surface temperatures (SST posing one of the main threats to coral survival. Successful recruitment of new colonies is important for the recovery of degraded reefs following mortality events. Coral larvae require relatively uncontaminated substratum on which to metamorphose into sessile polyps, and the increasing pollution of coastal waters therefore constitutes an additional threat to reef resilience. Here we develop and analyse a model of larval metamorphosis success for two common coral species to quantify the interactive effects of water pollution (copper contamination and SST. We identify thresholds of temperature and pollution that prevent larval metamorphosis, and evaluate synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our analyses show that halving the concentration of Cu can protect corals from the negative effects of a 2-3°C increase in SST. These results demonstrate that effective mitigation of local impacts can reduce negative effects of global stressors.

  19. Water contamination reduces the tolerance of coral larvae to thermal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Andrew P; Hoogenboom, Mia O

    2011-05-11

    Coral reefs are highly susceptible to climate change, with elevated sea surface temperatures (SST) posing one of the main threats to coral survival. Successful recruitment of new colonies is important for the recovery of degraded reefs following mortality events. Coral larvae require relatively uncontaminated substratum on which to metamorphose into sessile polyps, and the increasing pollution of coastal waters therefore constitutes an additional threat to reef resilience. Here we develop and analyse a model of larval metamorphosis success for two common coral species to quantify the interactive effects of water pollution (copper contamination) and SST. We identify thresholds of temperature and pollution that prevent larval metamorphosis, and evaluate synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our analyses show that halving the concentration of Cu can protect corals from the negative effects of a 2-3°C increase in SST. These results demonstrate that effective mitigation of local impacts can reduce negative effects of global stressors.

  20. Variability in reef connectivity in the Coral Triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, D. M.; Kleypas, J. A.; Castruccio, F. S.; Watson, J. R.; Curchitser, E. N.

    2015-12-01

    The Coral Triangle (CT) is not only the global center of marine biodiversity, it also supports the livelihoods of millions of people. Unfortunately, it is also considered the most threatened of all reef regions, with rising temperature and coral bleaching already taking a toll. Reproductive connectivity between reefs plays a critical role in the reef's capacity to recover after such disturbances. Thus, oceanographic modeling efforts to understand patterns of reef connectivity are essential to the effective design of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to conserve marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle. Here, we combine a Regional Ocean Modeling System developed for the Coral Triangle (CT-ROMS) with a Lagrangian particle tracking tool (TRACMASS) to investigate the probability of coral larval transport between reefs. A 47-year hindcast simulation (1960-2006) was used to investigate the variability in larval transport of a broadcasting coral following mass spawning events in April and September. Potential connectivity between reefs was highly variable and stochastic from year to year, emphasizing the importance of decadal or longer simulations in identifying connectivity patterns, key source and sink regions, and thus marine management targets for MPAs. The influence of temperature on realized connectivity (future work) may add further uncertainty to year-to-year patterns of connectivity between reefs. Nonetheless, the potential connectivity results we present here suggest that although reefs in this region are primarily self-seeded, rare long-distance dispersal may promote recovery and genetic exchange between reefs in the region. The spatial pattern of "subpopulations" based solely on the physical drivers of connectivity between reefs closely match regional patterns of biodiversity, suggesting that physical barriers to larval dispersal may be a key driver of reef biodiversity. Finally, 21st Century simulations driven by the Community Earth System Model (CESM

  1. Rising CO2 concentrations affect settlement behaviour of larval damselfishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devine, B. M.; Munday, P. L.; Jones, G. P.

    2012-03-01

    Reef fish larvae actively select preferred benthic habitat, relying on olfactory, visual and acoustic cues to discriminate between microhabitats at settlement. Recent studies show exposure to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) impairs olfactory cue recognition in larval reef fishes. However, whether this alters the behaviour of settling fish or disrupts habitat selection is unknown. Here, the effect of elevated CO2 on larval behaviour and habitat selection at settlement was tested in three species of damselfishes (family Pomacentridae) that differ in their pattern of habitat use: Pomacentrus amboinensis (a habitat generalist), Pomacentrus chrysurus (a rubble specialist) and Pomacentrus moluccensis (a live coral specialist). Settlement-stage larvae were exposed to current-day CO2 levels or CO2 concentrations that could occur by 2100 (700 and 850 ppm) based on IPCC emission scenarios. First, pair-wise choice tests were performed using a two-channel flume chamber to test olfactory discrimination between hard coral, soft coral and coral rubble habitats. The habitat selected by settling fish was then compared among treatments using a multi-choice settlement experiment conducted overnight. Finally, settlement timing between treatments was compared across two lunar cycles for one of the species, P. chrysurus. Exposure to elevated CO2 disrupted the ability of larvae to discriminate between habitat odours in olfactory trials. However, this had no effect on the habitats selected at settlement when all sensory cues were available. The timing of settlement was dramatically altered by CO2 exposure, with control fish exhibiting peak settlement around the new moon, whereas fish exposed to 850 ppm CO2 displaying highest settlement rates around the full moon. These results suggest larvae can rely on other sensory information, such as visual cues, to compensate for impaired olfactory ability when selecting settlement habitat at small spatial scales. However, rising CO2 could cause larvae

  2. Differential larval settlement responses of Porites astreoides and Acropora palmata in the presence of the green alga Halimeda opuntia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, K.; Sneed, J. M.; Paul, V. J.

    2016-06-01

    Settlement is critical to maintaining coral cover on reefs, yet interspecific responses of coral planulae to common benthic macroalgae are not well characterized. Larval survival and settlement of two Caribbean reef-building corals, the broadcast-spawner Acropora palmata and the planulae-brooder Porites astreoides, were quantified following exposure to plastic algae controls and the green macroalga Halimeda opuntia. Survival and settlement rates were not significantly affected by the presence of H. opuntia in either species. However, ~10 % of P. astreoides larvae settled on the surface of the macroalga, whereas larvae of A. palmata did not. It is unlikely that corals that settle on macroalgae will survive post-settlement; therefore, H. opuntia may reduce the number of P. astreoides and other non-discriminatory larvae that survive to adulthood. Our results suggest that the presence of macroalgae on impacted reefs can have unexpected repercussions for coral recruitment and highlight discrepancies in settlement specificity between corals with distinct life history strategies.

  3. Review on hard coral recruitment (Cnidaria: Scleractinia in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa F. Dueñas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment, defined and measured as the incorporation of new individuals (i.e. coral juveniles into a population, is a fundamentalprocess for ecologists, evolutionists and conservationists due to its direct effect on population structure and function. Because most coralpopulations are self-feeding, a breakdown in recruitment would lead to local extinction. Recruitment indirectly affects both renewal andmaintenance of existing and future coral communities, coral reef biodiversity (bottom-up effect and therefore coral reef resilience. This process has been used as an indirect measure of individual reproductive success (fitness and is the final stage of larval dispersal leading to population connectivity. As a result, recruitment has been proposed as an indicator of coral-reef health in marine protected areas, as well as a central aspect of the decision-making process concerning management and conservation. The creation of management plans to promote impact mitigation, rehabilitation and conservation of the Colombian coral reefs is a necessity that requires firstly, a review and integration of existing literature on scleractinian coral recruitment in Colombia and secondly, larger scale field studies. This motivated us to summarize and analyze all existing information on coral recruitment to determine the state of knowledge, isolate patterns, identify gaps, and suggest future lines of research.

  4. Coral contact dermatitis

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferson, Julie; Thompson, Curtis; Hinshaw, Molly; Rich, Phoebe

    2015-01-01

    Corals can elicit both toxic and allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Clinical presentations vary depending on whether the reaction is acute, delayed, or chronic. Literature concerning cutaneous reactions to corals and other Cnidarians is scarce. Herein we report a case of delayed contact hypersensitivity reaction to coral and review the clinical and histopathological features of coral contact dermatitis.

  5. Coral contact dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Julie; Thompson, Curtis; Hinshaw, Molly; Rich, Phoebe

    2015-04-16

    Corals can elicit both toxic and allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Clinical presentations vary depending on whether the reaction is acute, delayed, or chronic. Literature concerning cutaneous reactions to corals and other Cnidarians is scarce. Herein we report a case of delayed contact hypersensitivity reaction to coral and review the clinical and histopathological features of coral contact dermatitis.

  6. Reef scent: How brooded coral larvae from a tough coral smell their way to a new home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spies, N.; Richmond, R. H.; Seneca, F.; Murphy, J.; Martinez, J.; Lyman, A.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs are highly diverse marine ecosystems of ecological, economic, and cultural value. With the expected negative effects on reefs from global climate change including rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, the identification of resilient coral species has become increasingly important. Leptastrea purpurea is an encrusting coral that is found throughout the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. While most corals are broadcast spawners, releasing sperm and eggs to be fertilized in the water column, some corals brood embryos within their tissues after internal fertilization. L. purpurea appears to release planula larvae on a continuous basis from the parent colony as observed during two years of monitoring. The planula larvae show remarkable resilience under a wide range of stressful conditions including temperature, sediment, and chemical stressors, as well as the ability to successfully settle and metamorphose after 180 days in controlled laboratory conditions. Various smells were tested to identify a settlement cue for L. purpurea larvae, and our results suggest that the smell associated with other coral colonies induce larval settlement and metamorphosis. Knowledge of the settlement cues and reproductive biology of this coral is important to our understanding of coral resilience in the face of anthropogenic perturbation.

  7. Recovery of an isolated coral reef system following severe disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmour, James P; Smith, Luke D; Heyward, Andrew J; Baird, Andrew H; Pratchett, Morgan S

    2013-04-05

    Coral reef recovery from major disturbance is hypothesized to depend on the arrival of propagules from nearby undisturbed reefs. Therefore, reefs isolated by distance or current patterns are thought to be highly vulnerable to catastrophic disturbance. We found that on an isolated reef system in north Western Australia, coral cover increased from 9% to 44% within 12 years of a coral bleaching event, despite a 94% reduction in larval supply for 6 years after the bleaching. The initial increase in coral cover was the result of high rates of growth and survival of remnant colonies, followed by a rapid increase in juvenile recruitment as colonies matured. We show that isolated reefs can recover from major disturbance, and that the benefits of their isolation from chronic anthropogenic pressures can outweigh the costs of limited connectivity.

  8. Coralline algae disease reduces survival and settlement success of coral planulae in laboratory experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quéré, Gaëlle; Nugues, Maggy M.

    2015-09-01

    Disease outbreaks have been involved in the deterioration of coral reefs worldwide and have been particularly striking among crustose coralline algae (CCA). Although CCA represent important cues for coral settlement, the impact of CCA diseases on the survival and settlement of coral planulae is unknown. Exposing coral larvae to healthy, diseased, and recently dead crusts from three important CCA species, we show a negative effect of disease in the inductive CCA species Hydrolithon boergesenii on larval survivorship of Orbicella faveolata and settlement of O. faveolata and Diploria labyrinthiformis on the CCA surface. No effect was found with the less inductive CCA species Neogoniolithon mamillare and Paragoniolithon accretum. Additionally, a majority of planulae that settled on top of diseased H. boergesenii crusts were on healthy rather than diseased/dying tissue. Our experiments suggest that CCA diseases have the potential to reduce the survivorship and settlement of coral planulae on coral reefs.

  9. Developmental transcriptome of Aplysia californica'

    KAUST Repository

    Heyland, Andreas

    2010-12-06

    Genome-wide transcriptional changes in development provide important insight into mechanisms underlying growth, differentiation, and patterning. However, such large-scale developmental studies have been limited to a few representatives of Ecdysozoans and Chordates. Here, we characterize transcriptomes of embryonic, larval, and metamorphic development in the marine mollusc Aplysia californica and reveal novel molecular components associated with life history transitions. Specifically, we identify more than 20 signal peptides, putative hormones, and transcription factors in association with early development and metamorphic stages-many of which seem to be evolutionarily conserved elements of signal transduction pathways. We also characterize genes related to biomineralization-a critical process of molluscan development. In summary, our experiment provides the first large-scale survey of gene expression in mollusc development, and complements previous studies on the regulatory mechanisms underlying body plan patterning and the formation of larval and juvenile structures. This study serves as a resource for further functional annotation of transcripts and genes in Aplysia, specifically and molluscs in general. A comparison of the Aplysia developmental transcriptome with similar studies in the zebra fish Danio rerio, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and other studies on molluscs suggests an overall highly divergent pattern of gene regulatory mechanisms that are likely a consequence of the different developmental modes of these organisms. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  10. Genetic Signature of Resistance to White Band Disease in the Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libro, Silvia; Vollmer, Steven V

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to multiple factors including rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and disease outbreaks. Over the last 30 years, White Band Disease (WBD) alone has killed up to 95% of the Caribbean`s dominant shallow-water corals--the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmata. Both corals are now listed on the US Endangered Species Act, and while their recovery has been slow, recent transmission surveys indicate that more than 5% of staghorn corals are disease resistant. Here we compared transcriptome-wide gene expression between resistant and susceptible staghorn corals exposed to WBD using in situ transmission assays. We identified constitutive gene expression differences underlying disease resistance that are independent from the immune response associated with disease exposure. Genes involved in RNA interference-mediated gene silencing, including Argonaute were up-regulated in resistant corals, whereas heat shock proteins (HSPs) were down-regulated. Up-regulation of Argonaute proteins indicates that post-transcriptional gene silencing plays a key, but previously unsuspected role in coral immunity and disease resistance. Constitutive expression of HSPs has been linked to thermal resilience in other Acropora corals, suggesting that the down-regulation of HSPs in disease resistant staghorn corals may confer a dual benefit of thermal resilience.

  11. Genetic Signature of Resistance to White Band Disease in the Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Libro

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to multiple factors including rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and disease outbreaks. Over the last 30 years, White Band Disease (WBD alone has killed up to 95% of the Caribbean`s dominant shallow-water corals--the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmata. Both corals are now listed on the US Endangered Species Act, and while their recovery has been slow, recent transmission surveys indicate that more than 5% of staghorn corals are disease resistant. Here we compared transcriptome-wide gene expression between resistant and susceptible staghorn corals exposed to WBD using in situ transmission assays. We identified constitutive gene expression differences underlying disease resistance that are independent from the immune response associated with disease exposure. Genes involved in RNA interference-mediated gene silencing, including Argonaute were up-regulated in resistant corals, whereas heat shock proteins (HSPs were down-regulated. Up-regulation of Argonaute proteins indicates that post-transcriptional gene silencing plays a key, but previously unsuspected role in coral immunity and disease resistance. Constitutive expression of HSPs has been linked to thermal resilience in other Acropora corals, suggesting that the down-regulation of HSPs in disease resistant staghorn corals may confer a dual benefit of thermal resilience.

  12. No Reef Is an Island: Integrating Coral Reef Connectivity Data into the Design of Regional-Scale Marine Protected Area Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schill, Steven R; Raber, George T; Roberts, Jason J; Treml, Eric A; Brenner, Jorge; Halpin, Patrick N

    2015-01-01

    We integrated coral reef connectivity data for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into a conservation decision-making framework for designing a regional scale marine protected area (MPA) network that provides insight into ecological and political contexts. We used an ocean circulation model and regional coral reef data to simulate eight spawning events from 2008-2011, applying a maximum 30-day pelagic larval duration and 20% mortality rate. Coral larval dispersal patterns were analyzed between coral reefs across jurisdictional marine zones to identify spatial relationships between larval sources and destinations within countries and territories across the region. We applied our results in Marxan, a conservation planning software tool, to identify a regional coral reef MPA network design that meets conservation goals, minimizes underlying threats, and maintains coral reef connectivity. Our results suggest that approximately 77% of coral reefs identified as having a high regional connectivity value are not included in the existing MPA network. This research is unique because we quantify and report coral larval connectivity data by marine ecoregions and Exclusive Economic Zones (EZZ) and use this information to identify gaps in the current Caribbean-wide MPA network by integrating asymmetric connectivity information in Marxan to design a regional MPA network that includes important reef network connections. The identification of important reef connectivity metrics guides the selection of priority conservation areas and supports resilience at the whole system level into the future.

  13. No Reef Is an Island: Integrating Coral Reef Connectivity Data into the Design of Regional-Scale Marine Protected Area Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Schill

    Full Text Available We integrated coral reef connectivity data for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into a conservation decision-making framework for designing a regional scale marine protected area (MPA network that provides insight into ecological and political contexts. We used an ocean circulation model and regional coral reef data to simulate eight spawning events from 2008-2011, applying a maximum 30-day pelagic larval duration and 20% mortality rate. Coral larval dispersal patterns were analyzed between coral reefs across jurisdictional marine zones to identify spatial relationships between larval sources and destinations within countries and territories across the region. We applied our results in Marxan, a conservation planning software tool, to identify a regional coral reef MPA network design that meets conservation goals, minimizes underlying threats, and maintains coral reef connectivity. Our results suggest that approximately 77% of coral reefs identified as having a high regional connectivity value are not included in the existing MPA network. This research is unique because we quantify and report coral larval connectivity data by marine ecoregions and Exclusive Economic Zones (EZZ and use this information to identify gaps in the current Caribbean-wide MPA network by integrating asymmetric connectivity information in Marxan to design a regional MPA network that includes important reef network connections. The identification of important reef connectivity metrics guides the selection of priority conservation areas and supports resilience at the whole system level into the future.

  14. Settling into an Increasingly Hostile World: The Rapidly Closing “Recruitment Window” for Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Suzanne N.; Steneck, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    Free space is necessary for larval recruitment in all marine benthic communities. Settling corals, with limited energy to invest in competitive interactions, are particularly vulnerable during settlement into well-developed coral reef communities. This situation may be exacerbated for corals settling into coral-depauperate reefs where succession in nursery microhabitats moves rapidly toward heterotrophic organisms inhospitable to settling corals. To study effects of benthic organisms (at millimeter to centimeter scales) on newly settled corals and their survivorship we deployed terra-cotta coral settlement plates at 10 m depth on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize and monitored them for 38 mo. During the second and third years, annual recruitment rates declined by over 50% from the previous year. Invertebrate crusts (primarily sponges) were absent at the start of the experiment but increased in abundance annually from 39, 60, to 73% of the plate undersides by year three. Subsequently, substrates hospitable to coral recruitment, including crustose coralline algae, biofilmed terra-cotta and polychaete tubes, declined. With succession, substrates upon which spat settled shifted toward organisms inimical to survivorship. Over 50% of spat mortality was due to overgrowth by sponges alone. This result suggests that when a disturbance creates primary substrate a “recruitment window” for settling corals exists from approximately 9 to 14 mo following the disturbance. During the window, early-succession, facilitating species are most abundant. The window closes as organisms hostile to coral settlement and survivorship overgrow nursery microhabitats. PMID:22194883

  15. A cross-ocean comparison of responses to settlement cues in reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Sarah W; Meyer, Eli; Guermond, Sarah M; Matz, Mikhail V

    2014-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs have deteriorated substantially over the past 30 years, which is broadly attributable to the effects of global climate change. In the same time, Indo-Pacific reefs maintain higher coral cover and typically recover rapidly after disturbances. This difference in reef resilience is largely due to much higher coral recruitment rates in the Pacific. We hypothesized that the lack of Caribbean recruitment might be explained by diminishing quality of settlement cues and/or impaired sensitivity of Caribbean coral larvae to those cues, relative to the Pacific. To evaluate this hypothesis, we assembled a collection of bulk samples of reef encrusting communities, mostly consisting of crustose coralline algae (CCA), from various reefs around the world and tested them as settlement cues for several coral species originating from different ocean provinces. Cue samples were meta-barcoded to evaluate their taxonomic diversity. We observed no systematic differences either in cue potency or in strength of larval responses depending on the ocean province, and no preference of coral larvae towards cues from the same ocean. Instead, we detected significant differences in cue preferences among coral species, even for corals originating from the same reef. We conclude that the region-wide disruption of the settlement process is unlikely to be the major cause of Caribbean reef loss. However, due to their high sensitivity to the effects of climate change, shifts in the composition of CCA-associated communities, combined with pronounced differences in cue preferences among coral species, could substantially influence future coral community structure.

  16. Settling into an increasingly hostile world: the rapidly closing "recruitment window" for corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne N Arnold

    Full Text Available Free space is necessary for larval recruitment in all marine benthic communities. Settling corals, with limited energy to invest in competitive interactions, are particularly vulnerable during settlement into well-developed coral reef communities. This situation may be exacerbated for corals settling into coral-depauperate reefs where succession in nursery microhabitats moves rapidly toward heterotrophic organisms inhospitable to settling corals. To study effects of benthic organisms (at millimeter to centimeter scales on newly settled corals and their survivorship we deployed terra-cotta coral settlement plates at 10 m depth on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize and monitored them for 38 mo. During the second and third years, annual recruitment rates declined by over 50% from the previous year. Invertebrate crusts (primarily sponges were absent at the start of the experiment but increased in abundance annually from 39, 60, to 73% of the plate undersides by year three. Subsequently, substrates hospitable to coral recruitment, including crustose coralline algae, biofilmed terra-cotta and polychaete tubes, declined. With succession, substrates upon which spat settled shifted toward organisms inimical to survivorship. Over 50% of spat mortality was due to overgrowth by sponges alone. This result suggests that when a disturbance creates primary substrate a "recruitment window" for settling corals exists from approximately 9 to 14 mo following the disturbance. During the window, early-succession, facilitating species are most abundant. The window closes as organisms hostile to coral settlement and survivorship overgrow nursery microhabitats.

  17. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  18. Larval settlement preferences of Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata in response to diverse red algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Arnold, S. N.; Paul, V. J.; Steneck, R. S.

    2014-03-01

    Settlement specificity can regulate recruitment but remains poorly understood for coral larvae. We studied larvae of the corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata, to determine their rates of settlement and metamorphosis in the presence of ten species of red algae, including eight species of crustose coralline algae, one geniculated coralline and one encrusting peyssonnelid. Twenty to forty percent of larvae of A. palmata settled on coralline surfaces of Hydrolithon boergesenii, Lithoporella atlantica, Neogoniolithon affine, and Titanoderma prototypum, whereas none settled and metamorphosed on Neogoniolithon mamillare. Larvae of M. faveolata had 13-25 % settlement onto the surface of Amphiroa tribulus, H. boergesenii, N. affine, N. munitum, and T. prototypum, but had no settlement on the surface of N. mamillare, Porolithon pachydermum, and a noncoralline crust Peyssonnelia sp. Some of these algal species were common on Belizean reefs, but the species that induced the highest rates of larval settlement and metamorphosis tended to be rare and primarily found in low-light environments. The shallow coral, A. palmata, and the deeper coral, M. faveolata, both had increased larval settlement rates in the presence of only a few species of red algae found at deeper depths suggesting that patterns of coral distribution can only sometimes be related to the distribution of red algae species.

  19. Climate, bleaching and connectivity in the Coral Triangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curchitser, E. N.; Kleypas, J. A.; Castruccio, F. S.; Drenkard, E.; Thompson, D. M.; Pinsky, M. L.

    2016-12-01

    The Coral Triangle (CT) is the apex of marine biodiversity and supports the livelihoods of millions of people. It is also one of the most threatened of all reef regions in the world. We present results from a series of high-resolution, numerical ocean models designed to address physical and ecological questions relevant to the region's coral communities. The hierarchy of models was designed to optimize the model performance in addressing questions ranging from the role of internal tides in larval connectivity to distinguishing the role of interannual variability from decadal trends in thermal stress leading to mass bleaching events. In this presentation we will show how combining ocean circulation with models of larval dispersal leads to new insights into the interplay of physics and ecology in this complex oceanographic region, which can ultimately be used to inform conservation efforts.

  20. Modeled differences of coral life-history traits influence the refugium potential of a remote Caribbean reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Sarah W.; Strader, Marie E.; Kool, Johnathan T.; Kenkel, Carly D.; Matz, Mikhail V.

    2017-09-01

    Remote populations can influence connectivity and may serve as refugia from climate change. We investigated two reef-building corals ( Pseudodiploria strigosa and Orbicella franksi) from the Flower Garden Banks (FGB), the most isolated, high-latitude Caribbean reef system, which, until recently, retained high coral cover. We characterized coral size-frequency distributions, quantified larval mortality rates and onset of competence ex situ, estimated larval production, and created detailed biophysical models incorporating these parameters to evaluate the source-sink dynamics at the FGB from 2009 to 2012. Estimated mortality rates were similar between species, but pre-competency differed dramatically; P. strigosa was capable of metamorphosis within 2.5 d post-fertilization (dpf) and was competent at least until 8 dpf, while O. franksi was not competent until >20 dpf and remained competent up to 120 dpf. To explore the effect of such contrasting life histories on connectivity, we modeled larval dispersal from the FGB assuming pelagic larval durations (PLD) of either 3-20 d, approximating laboratory-measured pre-competency of P. strigosa, or 20-120 d, approximating pre-competency observed in O. franksi. Surprisingly, both models predicted similar probabilities of local retention at the FGB, either by direct rapid reseeding or via long-term persistence in the Loop Current with larvae returning to the FGB within a month. However, our models predicted that short PLDs would result in complete isolation from the rest of the Caribbean, while long PLDs allowed for larval export to more distant northern Caribbean reefs, highlighting the importance of quantifying larval pre-competency dynamics when parameterizing biophysical models to predict larval connectivity. These simulations suggest that FGB coral populations are likely to be largely self-sustaining and highlight the potential of long-PLD corals, such as endangered Orbicella, to act as larval sources for other degraded

  1. Larval nervous systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Claus

    2015-01-01

    The apical organ of ciliated larvae of cnidarians and bilaterians is a true larval organ that disappears before or at metamorphosis. It appears to be sensory, probably involved in metamorphosis, but knowledge is scant. The ciliated protostome larvae show ganglia/nerve cords that are retained as t...... common ancestor of the deuterostomes was very similar to the latest common pelago-benthic ancestor of the protostomes as described by the trochaea theory, and that the neural tube of the chordates is morphologically ventral....

  2. Chemically cued suppression of coral reef resilience: Where is the tipping point?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M.; Hay, Mark E.; Dixson, Danielle L.

    2016-12-01

    Coral reefs worldwide are shifting from high-diversity, coral-dominated communities to low-diversity systems dominated by seaweeds. This shift can impact essential recovery processes such as larval recruitment and ecosystem resilience. Recent evidence suggests that chemical cues from certain corals attract, and from certain seaweeds suppress, recruitment of juvenile fishes, with loss of coral cover and increases in seaweed cover creating negative feedbacks that prevent reef recovery and sustain seaweed dominance. Unfortunately, the level of seaweed increase and coral decline that creates this chemically cued tipping point remains unknown, depriving managers of data-based targets to prevent damaging feedbacks. We conducted flume and field assays that suggest juvenile fishes sense and respond to cues produced by low levels of seaweed cover. However, the herbivore species we tested was more tolerant of degraded reef cues than non-herbivores, possibly providing some degree of resilience if these fishes recruit, consume macroalgae, and diminish negative cues.

  3. Identification of microRNAs in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

    KAUST Repository

    Liew, Yi Jin

    2014-03-21

    Coral reefs are major contributors to marine biodiversity. However, they are in rapid decline due to global environmental changes such as rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have broadened our understanding of coral biology, but a study of the microRNA (miRNA) repertoire of corals is missing. miRNAs constitute a class of small non-coding RNAs of ∼22 nt in size that play crucial roles in development, metabolism, and stress response in plants and animals alike. In this study, we examined the coral Stylophora pistillata for the presence of miRNAs and the corresponding core protein machinery required for their processing and function. Based on small RNA sequencing, we present evidence for 31 bona fide microRNAs, 5 of which (miR-100, miR-2022, miR-2023, miR-2030, and miR-2036) are conserved in other metazoans. Homologues of Argonaute, Piwi, Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, and HEN1 were identified in the transcriptome of S. pistillata based on strong sequence conservation with known RNAi proteins, with additional support derived from phylogenetic trees. Examination of putative miRNA gene targets indicates potential roles in development, metabolism, immunity, and biomineralisation for several of the microRNAs. Here, we present first evidence of a functional RNAi machinery and five conserved miRNAs in S. pistillata, implying that miRNAs play a role in organismal biology of scleractinian corals. Analysis of predicted miRNA target genes in S. pistillata suggests potential roles of miRNAs in symbiosis and coral calcification. Given the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression in other metazoans, further expression analyses of small non-coding RNAs in transcriptional studies of corals should be informative about miRNA-affected processes and pathways.

  4. Identification of microRNAs in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Jin Liew

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are major contributors to marine biodiversity. However, they are in rapid decline due to global environmental changes such as rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have broadened our understanding of coral biology, but a study of the microRNA (miRNA repertoire of corals is missing. miRNAs constitute a class of small non-coding RNAs of ∼22 nt in size that play crucial roles in development, metabolism, and stress response in plants and animals alike. In this study, we examined the coral Stylophora pistillata for the presence of miRNAs and the corresponding core protein machinery required for their processing and function. Based on small RNA sequencing, we present evidence for 31 bona fide microRNAs, 5 of which (miR-100, miR-2022, miR-2023, miR-2030, and miR-2036 are conserved in other metazoans. Homologues of Argonaute, Piwi, Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, and HEN1 were identified in the transcriptome of S. pistillata based on strong sequence conservation with known RNAi proteins, with additional support derived from phylogenetic trees. Examination of putative miRNA gene targets indicates potential roles in development, metabolism, immunity, and biomineralisation for several of the microRNAs. Here, we present first evidence of a functional RNAi machinery and five conserved miRNAs in S. pistillata, implying that miRNAs play a role in organismal biology of scleractinian corals. Analysis of predicted miRNA target genes in S. pistillata suggests potential roles of miRNAs in symbiosis and coral calcification. Given the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression in other metazoans, further expression analyses of small non-coding RNAs in transcriptional studies of corals should be informative about miRNA-affected processes and pathways.

  5. Identification of microRNAs in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liew, Yi Jin; Aranda, Manuel; Carr, Adrian; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Zoccola, Didier; Tambutté, Sylvie; Allemand, Denis; Micklem, Gos; Voolstra, Christian R

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are major contributors to marine biodiversity. However, they are in rapid decline due to global environmental changes such as rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have broadened our understanding of coral biology, but a study of the microRNA (miRNA) repertoire of corals is missing. miRNAs constitute a class of small non-coding RNAs of ∼22 nt in size that play crucial roles in development, metabolism, and stress response in plants and animals alike. In this study, we examined the coral Stylophora pistillata for the presence of miRNAs and the corresponding core protein machinery required for their processing and function. Based on small RNA sequencing, we present evidence for 31 bona fide microRNAs, 5 of which (miR-100, miR-2022, miR-2023, miR-2030, and miR-2036) are conserved in other metazoans. Homologues of Argonaute, Piwi, Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, and HEN1 were identified in the transcriptome of S. pistillata based on strong sequence conservation with known RNAi proteins, with additional support derived from phylogenetic trees. Examination of putative miRNA gene targets indicates potential roles in development, metabolism, immunity, and biomineralisation for several of the microRNAs. Here, we present first evidence of a functional RNAi machinery and five conserved miRNAs in S. pistillata, implying that miRNAs play a role in organismal biology of scleractinian corals. Analysis of predicted miRNA target genes in S. pistillata suggests potential roles of miRNAs in symbiosis and coral calcification. Given the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression in other metazoans, further expression analyses of small non-coding RNAs in transcriptional studies of corals should be informative about miRNA-affected processes and pathways.

  6. Climate change impacts on coral reefs: synergies with local effects, possibilities for acclimation, and management implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Feary, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Chen, Allen; Schleyer, Michael H; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2013-09-30

    Most reviews concerning the impact of climate change on coral reefs discuss independent effects of warming or ocean acidification. However, the interactions between these, and between these and direct local stressors are less well addressed. This review underlines that coral bleaching, acidification, and diseases are expected to interact synergistically, and will negatively influence survival, growth, reproduction, larval development, settlement, and post-settlement development of corals. Interactions with local stress factors such as pollution, sedimentation, and overfishing are further expected to compound effects of climate change. Reduced coral cover and species composition following coral bleaching events affect coral reef fish community structure, with variable outcomes depending on their habitat dependence and trophic specialisation. Ocean acidification itself impacts fish mainly indirectly through disruption of predation- and habitat-associated behavior changes. Zooxanthellate octocorals on reefs are often overlooked but are substantial occupiers of space; these also are highly susceptible to bleaching but because they tend to be more heterotrophic, climate change impacts mainly manifest in terms of changes in species composition and population structure. Non-calcifying macroalgae are expected to respond positively to ocean acidification and promote microbe-induced coral mortality via the release of dissolved compounds, thus intensifying phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal domination. Adaptation of corals to these consequences of CO2 rise through increased tolerance of corals and successful mutualistic associations between corals and zooxanthellae is likely to be insufficient to match the rate and frequency of the projected changes. Impacts are interactive and magnified, and because there is a limited capacity for corals to adapt to climate change, global targets of carbon emission reductions are insufficient for coral reefs, so lower targets should be

  7. First feeding of larval herring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Munk, Peter; Støttrup, Josianne

    1985-01-01

    The transition period from endogenous to exogenous feeding by larval herring was investigated in the laboratory for four herring stocks in order to evaluate the chances of survival at the time of fiest feeding. Observations on larval activity, feeding and growth were related to amount of yolk, vi...

  8. Effects of coal contamination on early life history processes of a reef-building coral, Acropora tenuis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kathryn L E; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Brinkman, Diane L; Burns, Kathryn A; Negri, Andrew P

    2017-01-15

    Successful reproduction and larval dispersal are important for the persistence of marine invertebrate populations, and these early life history processes can be sensitive to marine pollution. Coal is emerging as a contaminant of interest due to the proximity of ports and shipping lanes to coral reefs. To assess the potential hazard of this contaminant, gametes, newly developed embryos, larvae and juveniles of the coral Acropora tenuis were exposed to a range of coal leachate, suspended coal, and coal smothering treatments. Fertilisation was the most sensitive reproductive process tested. Embryo survivorship decreased with increasing suspended coal concentrations and exposure duration, effects on larval settlement varied between treatments, while effects on juvenile survivorship were minimal. Leachate exposures had negligible effects on fertilisation and larval settlement. These results indicate that coral recruitment could be affected by spills that produce plumes of suspended coal particles which interact with gametes and embryos soon after spawning. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Early Life-History Stages and Settlement of the Coral-Eating Sea Star Acanthaster planci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Pecorino, Danilo; Albright, Rebecca; Negri, Andrew Peter; Cantin, Neal; Liddy, Michelle; Dworjanyn, Symon; Kamya, Pamela; Byrne, Maria; Lamare, Miles

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900–1200 µatm pCO2) significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS) that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals. PMID:24358240

  10. Impacts of ocean acidification on early life-history stages and settlement of the coral-eating sea star Acanthaster planci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Uthicke

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900-1200 µatm pCO2 significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals.

  11. Impacts of ocean acidification on early life-history stages and settlement of the coral-eating sea star Acanthaster planci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Pecorino, Danilo; Albright, Rebecca; Negri, Andrew Peter; Cantin, Neal; Liddy, Michelle; Dworjanyn, Symon; Kamya, Pamela; Byrne, Maria; Lamare, Miles

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900-1200 µatm pCO2) significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS) that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals.

  12. Drosophila adult and larval pheromones modulate larval food choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farine, Jean-Pierre; Cortot, Jérôme; Ferveur, Jean-François

    2014-06-07

    Insects use chemosensory cues to feed and mate. In Drosophila, the effect of pheromones has been extensively investigated in adults, but rarely in larvae. The colonization of natural food sources by Drosophila buzzatii and Drosophila simulans species may depend on species-specific chemical cues left in the food by larvae and adults. We identified such chemicals in both species and measured their influence on larval food preference and puparation behaviour. We also tested compounds that varied between these species: (i) two larval volatile compounds: hydroxy-3-butanone-2 and phenol (predominant in D. simulans and D. buzzatii, respectively), and (ii) adult cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs). Drosophila buzzatii larvae were rapidly attracted to non-CH adult conspecific cues, whereas D. simulans larvae were strongly repulsed by CHs of the two species and also by phenol. Larval cues from both species generally reduced larval attraction and pupariation on food, which was generally--but not always--low, and rarely reflected larval response. As these larval and adult pheromones specifically influence larval food search and the choice of a pupariation site, they may greatly affect the dispersion and survival of Drosophila species in nature.

  13. Differential gene expression during thermal stress and bleaching in the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSalvo, M K; Voolstra, C R; Sunagawa, S; Schwarz, J A; Stillman, J H; Coffroth, M A; Szmant, A M; Medina, M

    2008-09-01

    The declining health of coral reefs worldwide is likely to intensify in response to continued anthropogenic disturbance from coastal development, pollution, and climate change. In response to these stresses, reef-building corals may exhibit bleaching, which marks the breakdown in symbiosis between coral and zooxanthellae. Mass coral bleaching due to elevated water temperature can devastate coral reefs on a large geographical scale. In order to understand the molecular and cellular basis of bleaching in corals, we have measured gene expression changes associated with thermal stress and bleaching using a complementary DNA microarray containing 1310 genes of the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata. In a first experiment, we identified differentially expressed genes by comparing experimentally bleached M. faveolata fragments to control non-heat-stressed fragments. In a second experiment, we identified differentially expressed genes during a time course experiment with four time points across 9 days. Results suggest that thermal stress and bleaching in M. faveolata affect the following processes: oxidative stress, Ca(2+) homeostasis, cytoskeletal organization, cell death, calcification, metabolism, protein synthesis, heat shock protein activity, and transposon activity. These results represent the first medium-scale transcriptomic study focused on revealing the cellular foundation of thermal stress-induced coral bleaching. We postulate that oxidative stress in thermal-stressed corals causes a disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis, which in turn leads to cytoskeletal and cell adhesion changes, decreased calcification, and the initiation of cell death via apoptosis and necrosis.

  14. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abesamis, Rene A.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Jadloc, Claro Renato L.; Solera, Leilani A.; Villanoy, Cesar L.; Bernardo, Lawrence Patrick C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Russ, Garry R.

    2017-09-01

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major obstacle to effective network design. In this study, larval dispersal among NTMRs and fishing grounds in the Philippines was inferred by conducting genetic parentage analysis on a coral-reef fish ( Chaetodon vagabundus). Adult and juvenile fish were sampled intensively in an area encompassing approximately 90 km of coastline. Thirty-seven true parent-offspring pairs were accepted after screening 1978 juveniles against 1387 adults. The data showed all types of dispersal connections that may occur in NTMR networks, with assignments suggesting connectivity among NTMRs and fishing grounds ( n = 35) far outnumbering those indicating self-recruitment ( n = 2). Critically, half (51%) of the inferred occurrences of larval dispersal linked reefs managed by separate, independent municipalities and constituent villages, emphasising the need for nested collaborative management arrangements across management units to sustain NTMR networks. Larval dispersal appeared to be influenced by wind-driven seasonal reversals in the direction of surface currents. The best-fit larval dispersal kernel estimated from the parentage data predicted that 50% of larvae originating from a population would attempt to settle within 33 km, and 95% within 83 km. Mean larval dispersal distance was estimated to be 36.5 km. These results suggest that creating a network of closely spaced (less than a few tens of km apart) NTMRs can enhance recruitment for protected and fished populations throughout the NTMR network. The findings underscore major challenges for regional coral-reef management initiatives that must be addressed with priority: (1) strengthening management of NTMR networks across political or customary boundaries; and (2) achieving adequate population

  15. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    KAUST Repository

    Abesamis, Rene A.

    2017-03-24

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major obstacle to effective network design. In this study, larval dispersal among NTMRs and fishing grounds in the Philippines was inferred by conducting genetic parentage analysis on a coral-reef fish (Chaetodon vagabundus). Adult and juvenile fish were sampled intensively in an area encompassing approximately 90 km of coastline. Thirty-seven true parent-offspring pairs were accepted after screening 1978 juveniles against 1387 adults. The data showed all types of dispersal connections that may occur in NTMR networks, with assignments suggesting connectivity among NTMRs and fishing grounds (n = 35) far outnumbering those indicating self-recruitment (n = 2). Critically, half (51%) of the inferred occurrences of larval dispersal linked reefs managed by separate, independent municipalities and constituent villages, emphasising the need for nested collaborative management arrangements across management units to sustain NTMR networks. Larval dispersal appeared to be influenced by wind-driven seasonal reversals in the direction of surface currents. The best-fit larval dispersal kernel estimated from the parentage data predicted that 50% of larvae originating from a population would attempt to settle within 33 km, and 95% within 83 km. Mean larval dispersal distance was estimated to be 36.5 km. These results suggest that creating a network of closely spaced (less than a few tens of km apart) NTMRs can enhance recruitment for protected and fished populations throughout the NTMR network. The findings underscore major challenges for regional coral-reef management initiatives that must be addressed with priority: (1) strengthening management of NTMR networks across political or customary boundaries; and (2) achieving adequate population

  16. Review: Current trends in coral transplantation – an approach to preserve biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ABDELNABY ORABI

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Ammar MSA,El-Gammal F, Nassar M, Belal A, Farag W, El-Mesiry G, El-Haddad K, Orabi A, Abdelreheem A, Shaaban A. 2013. Review: Current trends in coral transplantation – an approach to preserve biodiversity. Biodiversitas 14: 43-53. The increasing rates of coral mortality associated with the rise in stress factors and the lack of adequate recovery worldwide have urged recent calls for actions by the scientific, conservation, and reef management communities. This work reviews the current trends in coral transplantation. Transplantation of coral colonies or fragments, whether from aqua-, mariculture or harvesting from a healthy colony, has been the most frequently recommended action for increasing coral abundance on damaged or degraded reefs and for conserving listed or “at-risk” species. Phytoplanktons are important for providing transplanted corals with complex organic compounds through photosynthesis. Artificial surfaces like concrete blocks, wrecks or other purpose-designed structures can be introduced for larval settlement. New surfaces can also be created through electrolysis. Molecular biological tools can be used to select sites for rehabilitation by asexual recruits. Surface chemistry and possible inputs of toxic leachate from artificial substrates are considered as important factors affecting natural recruitment. Transplants should be carefully maintained , revisited and reattached at least weekly in the first month and at least fortnightly in the next three months. Studies on survivorship and the reproductive ability of transplanted coral fragments are important for coral reef restoration. A coral nursery may be considered as a pool for local species that supplies reef-managers with unlimited coral colonies for sustainable management. Transplanting corals for making artificial reefs can be useful for increasing biodiversity, providing tourist diving, fishing and surfing; creating new artisanal and commercial fishing opportunities

  17. Coral larvae for restoration and research: a large-scale method for rearing Acropora millepora larvae, inducing settlement, and establishing symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Joseph Pollock

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Here we describe an efficient and effective technique for rearing sexually-derived coral propagules from spawning through larval settlement and symbiont uptake with minimal impact on natural coral populations. We sought to maximize larval survival while minimizing expense and daily husbandry maintenance by experimentally determining optimized conditions and protocols for gamete fertilization, larval cultivation, induction of larval settlement by crustose coralline algae, and inoculation of newly settled juveniles with their dinoflagellate symbiont Symbiodinium. Larval rearing densities at or below 0.2 larvae mL−1 were found to maximize larval survival and settlement success in culture tanks while minimizing maintenance effort. Induction of larval settlement via the addition of a ground mixture of diverse crustose coralline algae (CCA is recommended, given the challenging nature of in situ CCA identification and our finding that non settlement-inducing CCA assemblages do not inhibit larval settlement if suitable assemblages are present. Although order of magnitude differences in infectivity were found between common Great Barrier Reef Symbiodinium clades C and D, no significant differences in Symbiodinium uptake were observed between laboratory-cultured and wild-harvested symbionts in each case. The technique presented here for Acropora millepora can be adapted for research and restoration efforts in a wide range of broadcast spawning coral species.

  18. Coral larvae for restoration and research: a large-scale method for rearing Acropora millepora larvae, inducing settlement, and establishing symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, F Joseph; Katz, Sefano M; van de Water, Jeroen A J M; Davies, Sarah W; Hein, Margaux; Torda, Gergely; Matz, Mikhail V; Beltran, Victor H; Buerger, Patrick; Puill-Stephan, Eneour; Abrego, David; Bourne, David G; Willis, Bette L

    2017-01-01

    Here we describe an efficient and effective technique for rearing sexually-derived coral propagules from spawning through larval settlement and symbiont uptake with minimal impact on natural coral populations. We sought to maximize larval survival while minimizing expense and daily husbandry maintenance by experimentally determining optimized conditions and protocols for gamete fertilization, larval cultivation, induction of larval settlement by crustose coralline algae, and inoculation of newly settled juveniles with their dinoflagellate symbiont Symbiodinium. Larval rearing densities at or below 0.2 larvae mL(-1) were found to maximize larval survival and settlement success in culture tanks while minimizing maintenance effort. Induction of larval settlement via the addition of a ground mixture of diverse crustose coralline algae (CCA) is recommended, given the challenging nature of in situ CCA identification and our finding that non settlement-inducing CCA assemblages do not inhibit larval settlement if suitable assemblages are present. Although order of magnitude differences in infectivity were found between common Great Barrier Reef Symbiodinium clades C and D, no significant differences in Symbiodinium uptake were observed between laboratory-cultured and wild-harvested symbionts in each case. The technique presented here for Acropora millepora can be adapted for research and restoration efforts in a wide range of broadcast spawning coral species.

  19. Larval connectivity in an effective network of marine protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark R Christie

    Full Text Available Acceptance of marine protected areas (MPAs as fishery and conservation tools has been hampered by lack of direct evidence that MPAs successfully seed unprotected areas with larvae of targeted species. For the first time, we present direct evidence of large-scale population connectivity within an existing and effective network of MPAs. A new parentage analysis identified four parent-offspring pairs from a large, exploited population of the coral-reef fish Zebrasoma flavescens in Hawai'i, revealing larval dispersal distances ranging from 15 to 184 km. In two cases, successful dispersal was from an MPA to unprotected sites. Given high adult abundances, the documentation of any parent-offspring pairs demonstrates that ecologically-relevant larval connectivity between reefs is substantial. All offspring settled at sites to the north of where they were spawned. Satellite altimetry and oceanographic models from relevant time periods indicated a cyclonic eddy that created prevailing northward currents between sites where parents and offspring were found. These findings empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of MPAs as useful conservation and management tools and further highlight the importance of coupling oceanographic, genetic, and ecological data to predict, validate and quantify larval connectivity among marine populations.

  20. Larval development of japanese "conchostracans"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jorgen; Fritsch, Martin; Grygier, Mark J.

    2013-01-01

    For comparison with the remarkable larvae of the laevicaudatan (clam shrimp) Lynceus brachyurus, a basic description of the larval sequence of another laevicaudatan branchiopod, the Japanese Lynceus biformis, is provided. Four larval stages have been identified, ranging in size from 258 to 560 mu m...... to the endopod and a change in the form of the naupliar process, used for food manipulation, from a long, unbranched, pointed spine to a bifid structure. In addition, buds of trunk limbs (five pairs) first appear externally in stage 4 but can be recognized through the cuticle in the previous stage. The larval...

  1. Kauri seeds and larval somersaults

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dupont, Steen Thorleif

    2012-01-01

    The trunk morphology of the larvae of the kauri pine (Agathis) seed infesting moth Agathiphaga is described using conventional, polarization, and scanning electron microscopy. The pine seed chamber formed by the larva is also described and commented on. The simple larval chaetotaxy includes more...... of the minute posture sensing setae, proprioceptors, than expected from the lepidopteran larval ground plan. The excess of proprioceptors is suggested to be necessary for sensory input concerning the larval posture within the seed chamber. The trunk musculature includes an autapomorphic radial ventral...... musculature made up of unique multisegmental muscles. The combined presence of additional proprioceptors and the unique ventral musculature is proposed to be related to the larval movement within the confined space of the seed chamber, especially to a proposed somersault movement that allows the larva...

  2. Understanding ship-grounding impacts on a coral reef: potential effects of anti-foulant paint contamination on coral recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Adrew P; Smith, Luke D; Webster, Nicole S; Heyward, Andrew J

    2002-02-01

    The 184 m cargo ship Bunga Teratai Satu collided with Sudbury Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef and remained grounded for 12 days. The ship was re-floated only 3 days prior to the November 2000 mass coral spawning. No cargo or fuel was lost but the impact resulted in significant contamination of the reef with anti-foulant paint containing tributyltin (TBT), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). Larvae of the reef-building scleractinian coral Acropora microphthalma were exposed to various concentrations of sediment collected from the grounding site in replicated laboratory experiments. Two experiments were performed, both of which used varying ratios of contaminated and control site sediment in seawater as treatments. In the first experiment, the influence of contaminated sediment on larval competency was examined using metamorphosis bioassays. In the second, the effect of contaminated sediment upon larval recruitment on pre-conditioned terracotta tiles was assessed. In both experiments, sediment containing 8.0 mg kg(-1) TBT, 72 mg kg(-1) Cu and 92 mg kg(-1) Zn significantly inhibited larval settlement and metamorphosis. At this level of contamination larvae survived but contracted to a spherical shape and swimming and searching behaviour ceased. At higher contamination levels, 100% mortality was recorded. These results indicate that the contamination of sediment by anti-fouling paint at Sudbury Reef has the potential to significantly reduce coral recruitment in the immediate vicinity of the site and that this contamination may threaten the recovery of the resident coral community unless the paint is removed.

  3. Keeping It Local: Dispersal Limitations of Coral Larvae to the High Latitude Coral Reefs of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn L Markey

    Full Text Available In 2011 the first recorded bleaching event for the high latitude Houtman Abrolhos Islands (HAI coral communities was documented. This bleaching event highlighted the question of whether a supply of 'heat tolerant' coral recruits from the tropical north would be sufficient to provide a level of resistance for these reefs to future warming events. Using Lagrangian modelling we showed that due to its regional isolation, large-scale larval input from potential tropical northern source populations to the HAI is unlikely, despite the southward flowing Leeuwin current. Successful recruitment to artificial substrates was recorded following the bleaching event. However, this was negligible (0.4 ± 0.1 recruits per tile compared to 2013 post impact recruitment (128.8 ± 15.8 recruits per tile. Our data therefore provides preliminary evidence suggesting that the connectivity of the HAI with coral communities in the north is limited, and population maintenance and recovery is likely driven primarily by self-recruitment. Given the low thermal tolerance of the HAI coral communities, the dominance of Acropora, and the apparent reliance on self-recruitment, an increased frequency of thermally anomalous conditions at the HAI (such as experienced in 2011 has the potential to reduce the long-term stability of the HAI coral populations and species that depend upon them.

  4. The Maritime Continent and Coral Triangle: How to make informed measurements in the year of the MC to improve coral protection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodkin, N.; Tanzil, J.; Murty, S. A.; Ramos, R.; Pullen, J. D.

    2016-12-01

    The Maritime Continent (MC) is a region of highly complex oceanography, encompassing a majority of the Coral Triangle, the most important region for coral biodiversity and cover. Intricate coastal processes including water body mixing, resulting from reversing monsoon winds and internal waves, expose corals to a wide variety of physical conditions. However, the pressures of climate change, overfishing, ocean acidification, and coastal development, to name a few, are significant in this region and threaten to challenge reefs over the next several decades. In order to predict and study how to facilitate reef recovery in the MC region, it is crucial to understand the environmental parameters for coral success. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of oceanographic processes on the maritime continent that drive seasonal variability in the waters of the MC, including changes to sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity, productivity and nutrients. Each of these parameters is known to have impacts on calcification rates and thus coral reef formation. Environmental conditions and currents can combine to facilitate larval dispersion or to exacerbate coral disease and predation, including crown of thorns outbreaks. Internal waves may protect against coral bleaching by lowering temperatures with the delivery of deeper water. Drawing on previously published and unpublished results, we will evaluate the parameters that may be impacting reef growth rates, biodiversity and resilience in a changing world in an effort to help plan for key measurements in the year of the MC.

  5. Phage therapy for Florida corals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2007-01-01

    Coral disease is a major cause of reef decline in the Florida Keys. Bacterium has been defined as the most common pathogen (disease-causing organism). Although much is being done to catalog coral diseases, map their locations, determine the causes of disease, or measure the rates of coral demise, very little research has been directed toward actually preventing or eliminating the diseases affecting coral and coral reef decline.

  6. Unexpected complexity of the Reef-Building Coral Acropora millepora transcription factor network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravasi Timothy

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral reefs are disturbed on a global scale by environmental changes including rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification. Little is known about how corals respond or adapt to these environmental changes especially at the molecular level. This is mostly because of the paucity of genome-wide studies on corals and the application of systems approaches that incorporate the latter. Like in any other organism, the response of corals to stress is tightly controlled by the coordinated interplay of many transcription factors. Results Here, we develop and apply a new system-wide approach in order to infer combinatorial transcription factor networks of the reef-building coral Acropora millepora. By integrating sequencing-derived transcriptome measurements, a network of physically interacting transcription factors, and phylogenetic network footprinting we were able to infer such a network. Analysis of the network across a phylogenetically broad sample of five species, including human, reveals that despite the apparent simplicity of corals, their transcription factors repertoire and interaction networks seem to be largely conserved. In addition, we were able to identify interactions among transcription factors that appear to be species-specific lending strength to the novel concept of "Taxonomically Restricted Interactions". Conclusions This study provides the first look at transcription factor networks in corals. We identified a transcription factor repertoire encoded by the coral genome and found consistencies of the domain architectures of transcription factors and conserved regulatory subnetworks across eumetazoan species, providing insight into how regulatory networks have evolved.

  7. Effects of terrigenous sediment on settlement and survival of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaipo Perez III

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Survival and settlement of Pocillopora damicornis larvae on hard surfaces covered with fine (<63 µm terrigenous red clay was measured in laboratory Petri dishes. The dishes were prepared with sediment films of various thicknesses covering the bottoms. Coral larvae were incubated in the dishes for two weeks and the percent that settled on the bottom was determined. There was a statistically significant relationship between the amount of sediment and coral recruitment on the bottom, with no recruitment on surfaces having a sediment cover above 0.9 mg cm−2. Experimental conditions for the delicate coral larvae were favorable in these experiments. Total survival over the two week settlement tests expressed as the sum of coral recruits and live larvae at the end of the experiment did not show a significant decline, so the major impact of the sediment was on successful settlement rather than on mortality. Larval substrate selection behavior was the primary factor in the observed result.

  8. Cryobiology of coral fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Farrell, Ann; Carter, Virginia L

    2013-02-01

    Around the world, coral reefs are dying due to human influences, and saving habitat alone may not stop this destruction. This investigation focused on the biological processes that will provide the first steps in understanding the cryobiology of whole coral fragments. Coral fragments are a partnership of coral tissue and endosymbiotic algae, Symbiodinium sp., commonly called zooxanthellae. These data reflected their separate sensitivities to chilling and a cryoprotectant (dimethyl sulfoxide) for the coral Pocillopora damicornis, as measured by tissue loss and Pulse Amplitude Modulated fluorometry 3weeks post-treatment. Five cryoprotectant treatments maintained the viability of the coral tissue and zooxanthellae at control values (1M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0h exposures, and 1.5M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0 and 1.5h exposures, P>0.05, ANOVA), whereas 2M concentrations did not (Pcoral tissue, but not in the zooxanthellae. During the winter when the fragments were chilled, the coral tissue remained relatively intact (∼25% loss) post-treatment, but the zooxanthellae numbers in the tissue declined after 5min of chilling (Pcoral tissue (∼75% loss) and zooxanthellae numbers declined in response to chilling alone (Pcoral against tissue loss after 45min of cryoprotectant exposure (P>0.05, ANOVA), but it did not protect against the loss of zooxanthellae (Pcoral fragment complex and future cryopreservation protocols must be guided by their greater sensitivity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. In vitro manipulation of gene expression in larval Schistosoma: a model for postgenomic approaches in Trematoda

    Science.gov (United States)

    YOSHINO, TIMOTHY P.; DINGUIRARD, NATHALIE; DE MORAES MOURÃO, MARINA

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY With rapid developments in DNA and protein sequencing technologies, combined with powerful bioinformatics tools, a continued acceleration of gene identification in parasitic helminths is predicted, potentially leading to discovery of new drug and vaccine targets, enhanced diagnostics and insights into the complex biology underlying host-parasite interactions. For the schistosome blood flukes, with the recent completion of genome sequencing and comprehensive transcriptomic datasets, there has accumulated massive amounts of gene sequence data, for which, in the vast majority of cases, little is known about actual functions within the intact organism. In this review we attempt to bring together traditional in vitro cultivation approaches and recent emergent technologies of molecular genomics, transcriptomics and genetic manipulation to illustrate the considerable progress made in our understanding of trematode gene expression and function during development of the intramolluscan larval stages. Using several prominent trematode families (Schistosomatidae, Fasciolidae, Echinostomatidae), we have focused on the current status of in vitro larval isolation/cultivation as a source of valuable raw material supporting gene discovery efforts in model digeneans that include whole genome sequencing, transcript and protein expression profiling during larval development, and progress made in the in vitro manipulation of genes and their expression in larval trematodes using transgenic and RNA interference (RNAi) approaches. PMID:19961646

  10. Location-specific responses to thermal stress in larvae of the reef-building coral Montastraea faveolata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Polato

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The potential to adapt to a changing climate depends in part upon the standing genetic variation present in wild populations. In corals, the dispersive larval phase is particularly vulnerable to the effects of environmental stress. Larval survival and response to stress during dispersal and settlement will play a key role in the persistence of coral populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To test the hypothesis that larval transcription profiles reflect location-specific responses to thermal stress, symbiont-free gametes from three to four colonies of the scleractinian coral Montastraea faveolata were collected from Florida and Mexico, fertilized, and raised under mean and elevated (up 1 to 2 degrees C above summer mean temperatures. These locations have been shown to exchange larvae frequently enough to prevent significant differentiation of neutral loci. Differences among 1,310 unigenes were simultaneously characterized using custom cDNA microarrays, allowing investigation of gene expression patterns among larvae generated from wild populations under stress. Results show both conserved and location-specific variation in key processes including apoptosis, cell structuring, adhesion and development, energy and protein metabolism, and response to stress, in embryos of a reef-building coral. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide first insights into location-specific variation in gene expression in the face of gene flow, and support the hypothesis that coral host genomes may house adaptive potential needed to deal with changing environmental conditions.

  11. A cross-ocean comparison of responses to settlement cues in reef-building corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah W. Davies

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs have deteriorated substantially over the past 30 years, which is broadly attributable to the effects of global climate change. In the same time, Indo-Pacific reefs maintain higher coral cover and typically recover rapidly after disturbances. This difference in reef resilience is largely due to much higher coral recruitment rates in the Pacific. We hypothesized that the lack of Caribbean recruitment might be explained by diminishing quality of settlement cues and/or impaired sensitivity of Caribbean coral larvae to those cues, relative to the Pacific. To evaluate this hypothesis, we assembled a collection of bulk samples of reef encrusting communities, mostly consisting of crustose coralline algae (CCA, from various reefs around the world and tested them as settlement cues for several coral species originating from different ocean provinces. Cue samples were meta-barcoded to evaluate their taxonomic diversity. We observed no systematic differences either in cue potency or in strength of larval responses depending on the ocean province, and no preference of coral larvae towards cues from the same ocean. Instead, we detected significant differences in cue preferences among coral species, even for corals originating from the same reef. We conclude that the region-wide disruption of the settlement process is unlikely to be the major cause of Caribbean reef loss. However, due to their high sensitivity to the effects of climate change, shifts in the composition of CCA-associated communities, combined with pronounced differences in cue preferences among coral species, could substantially influence future coral community structure.

  12. Comparative genomics explains the evolutionary success of reef-forming corals

    KAUST Repository

    Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2016-05-24

    Transcriptome and genome data from twenty stony coral species and a selection of reference bilaterians were studied to elucidate coral evolutionary history. We identified genes that encode the proteins responsible for the precipitation and aggregation of the aragonite skeleton on which the organisms live, and revealed a network of environmental sensors that coordinate responses of the host animals to temperature, light, and pH. Furthermore, we describe a variety of stress-related pathways, including apoptotic pathways that allow the host animals to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that are generated by their intracellular photosynthetic symbionts, and determine the fate of corals under environmental stress. Some of these genes arose through horizontal gene transfer and comprise at least 0.2% of the animal gene inventory. Our analysis elucidates the evolutionary strategies that have allowed symbiotic corals to adapt and thrive for hundreds of millions of years.

  13. Corals and Sclerosponges

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past climate and ocean environment derived from stable isotope, trace metal, and other measurements made on corals and sclerosponges. Parameter keywords...

  14. All Framing Corals

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The data represent predicted habitat suitability for several taxa of deep-sea corals. Predictions were modeled using a statistical machine-learning algorithm called...

  15. The transcriptomic and evolutionary signature of social interactions regulating honey bee caste development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The caste fate of developing female honey bee larvae is strictly socially regulated by adult nurse workers. As a result of this social regulation, nurse-expressed genes as well as larval-expressed genes may affect caste expression and evolution. We used a novel transcriptomic approach to identify ge...

  16. Elevated temperature alters the lunar timing of Planulation in the brooding coral Pocillopora damicornis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camerron M Crowder

    Full Text Available Reproductive timing in corals is associated with environmental variables including temperature, lunar periodicity, and seasonality. Although it is clear that these variables are interrelated, it remains unknown if one variable in particular acts as the proximate signaler for gamete and or larval release. Furthermore, in an era of global warming, the degree to which increases in ocean temperatures will disrupt normal reproductive patterns in corals remains unknown. Pocillopora damicornis, a brooding coral widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific, has been the subject of multiple reproductive ecology studies that show correlations between temperature, lunar periodicity, and reproductive timing. However, to date, no study has empirically measured changes in reproductive timing associated with increased seawater temperature. In this study, the effect of increased seawater temperature on the timing of planula release was examined during the lunar cycles of March and June 2012. Twelve brooding corals were removed from Hobihu reef in Nanwan Bay, southern Taiwan and placed in 23 and 28°C controlled temperature treatment tanks. For both seasons, the timing of planulation was found to be plastic, with the high temperature treatment resulting in significantly earlier peaks of planula release compared to the low temperature treatment. This suggests that temperature alone can influence the timing of larval release in Pocillopora damicornis in Nanwan Bay. Therefore, it is expected that continued increases in ocean temperature will result in earlier timing of reproductive events in corals, which may lead to either variations in reproductive success or phenotypic acclimatization.

  17. De novo transcriptome assembly of shrimp Palaemon serratus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Perina

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The shrimp Palaemon serratus is a coastal decapod crustacean with a high commercial value. It is harvested for human consumption. In this study, we used Illumina sequencing technology (HiSeq 2000 to sequence, assemble and annotate the transcriptome of P. serratus. RNA was isolated from muscle of adults individuals and, from a pool of larvae. A total number of 4 cDNA libraries were constructed, using the TruSeq RNA Sample Preparation Kit v2. The raw data in this study was deposited in NCBI SRA database with study accession number of SRP090769. The obtained data were subjected to de novo transcriptome assembly using Trinity software, and coding regions were predicted by TransDecoder. We used Blastp and Sma3s to annotate the identified proteins. The transcriptome data could provide some insight into the understanding of genes involved in the larval development and metamorphosis.

  18. Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals and coral mucus

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Balasubramanian, R.

    Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals, fresh coral mucus and floating and attached mucus detritus from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea was studied. Corallochytrium limacisporum Raghukumar, Thraustochytrium motivum Goldstein...

  19. Bikini Atoll coral biodiversity resilience five decades after nuclear testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richards, Zoe T. [Museum of Tropical Queensland, Flinders St, Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia) and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811 (Australia) and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 (Australia); NRAS - Marshall Islands: Natural Resource Assessment Surveys (Australia)], E-mail: zoe.richards@jcu.edu.au; Beger, Maria [Ecology Centre and Commonwealth Research Facility for Applied Environmental Decision Analysis, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 (Australia); NRAS - Marshall Islands: Natural Resource Assessment Surveys (Australia); Pinca, Silvia [College of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, Marshall Islands, NRAS - Marshall Islands: Natural Resource Assessment Surveys (Australia); Wallace, Carden C. [Museum of Tropical Queensland, Flinders St, Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia)

    2008-03-15

    Five decades after a series of nuclear tests began, we provide evidence that 70% of the Bikini Atoll zooxanthellate coral assemblage is resilient to large-scale anthropogenic disturbance. Species composition in 2002 was assessed and compared to that seen prior to nuclear testing. A total of 183 scleractinian coral species was recorded, compared to 126 species recorded in the previous study (excluding synonomies, 148 including synonomies). We found that 42 coral species may be locally extinct at Bikini. Fourteen of these losses may be pseudo-losses due to inconsistent taxonomy between the two studies or insufficient sampling in the second study, however 28 species appear to represent genuine losses. Of these losses, 16 species are obligate lagoonal specialists and 12 have wider habitat compatibility. Twelve species are recorded from Bikini for the first time. We suggest the highly diverse Rongelap Atoll to the east of Bikini may have contributed larval propagules to facilitate the partial resilience of coral biodiversity in the absence of additional anthropogenic threats.

  20. The reality, use and potential for cryopreservation of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Spindler, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the world coral reefs are being degraded at unprecedented rates. Locally, reefs are damaged by pollution, nutrient overload and sedimentation from out-dated land-use, fishing and mining practices. Globally, increased greenhouse gases are warming and acidifying oceans, making corals more susceptible to stress, bleaching and newly emerging diseases. The coupling of climate change impacts and local anthropogenic stressors has caused a widespread and well-recognized reef crisis. Although in situ conservation practices, such as the establishment and enforcement of marine protected areas, reduce these stressors and may help slow the loss of genetic diversity on reefs, the global effects of climate change will continue to cause population declines. Gamete cryopreservation has already acted as an effective insurance policy to maintain the genetic diversity of many wildlife species, but has only just begun to be explored for coral. Already we have had a great deal of success with cryopreserving sperm and larval cells from a variety of coral species. Building on this success, we have now begun to establish genetic banks using frozen samples, to help offset these threats to the Great Barrier Reef and other areas.

  1. The perfect storm: Match-mismatch of bio-physical events drives larval reef fish connectivity between Pulley Ridge mesophotic reef and the Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Ana C.; Paris, Claire B.; Olascoaga, M. Josefina; Kourafalou, Villy H.; Kang, Heesook; Reed, John K.

    2016-08-01

    Mesophotic coral reef ecosystems are remote from coastal stressors, but are still vulnerable to over-exploitation, and remain mostly unprotected. They may be the key to coral reefs resilience, yet little is known about the pattern of larval subsidies from deeper to shallower coral reef habitats. Here we use a biophysical modeling approach to test the hypothesis that fishes from mesophotic coral reef ecosystems may replenish shallow reef populations. We aim at identifying the spatio-temporal patterns and underlying mechanisms of larval connections between Pulley Ridge, a mesophotic reef in the Gulf of Mexico hosting of a variety of shallow-water tropical fishes, and the Florida Keys reefs. A new three-dimensional (3D) polygon habitat module is developed for the open-source Connectivity Modeling System to simulate larval movement behavior of the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus, in a realistic 3D representation of the coral reef habitat. Biological traits such as spawning periodicity, mortality, and vertical migration are also incorporated in the model. Virtual damselfish larvae are released daily from the Pulley Ridge at 80 m depth over 60 lunar spawning cycles and tracked until settlement within a fine resolution (~900 m) hydrodynamic model of the region. Such probabilistic simulations reveal mesophotic-shallow connections with large, yet sporadic pulses of larvae settling in the Florida Keys. Modal and spectral analyses on the spawning time of successful larvae, and on the position of the Florida Current front with respect to Pulley Ridge, demonstrate that specific physical-biological interactions modulate these "perfect storm" events. Indeed, the co-occurrence of (1) peak spawning with frontal features, and (2) cyclonic eddies with ontogenetic vertical migration, contribute to high settlement in the Florida Keys. This study demonstrates that mesophotic coral reef ecosystems can also serve as refugia for coral reef fish and suggests that they have a critical

  2. A coral-eating barnacle, revisited (Cirripedia, Pyrgomatidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ross, Arnold; Newman, William A.

    1995-01-01

    The coral-eating barnacle Hoekia monticulariae (Gray, 1831), the only internal parasite among the Thoracica described to this day, is characterized by an irregularly-shaped shell nestled cryptically between the polyps of the hermatypic coral Hydnophora Fischer, 1807, which occurs throughout most of

  3. Rose Atoll Coral Monitoring Narrative

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Narrative report summarizes the results of coral monitoring at 11 georeferenced sites at Rose Atoll, American Samoa, undertaken by Dr. James Maragos, USFWS Coral...

  4. Coral reefs: Turning back time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Janice M.

    2016-03-01

    An in situ experiment finds that reducing the acidity of the seawater surrounding a natural coral reef significantly increases reef calcification, suggesting that ocean acidification may already be slowing coral growth. See Letter p.362

  5. Investigating coral hyperspectral properties across coral species and coral state using hyperspectral imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrubeoglu, Mehrube; Smith, Dustin K.; Smith, Shane W.; Strychar, Kevin B.; McLauchlan, Lifford

    2013-09-01

    Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems in the world. Corals worldwide are at risk, and in many instances, dying due to factors that affect their environment resulting in deteriorating environmental conditions. Because corals respond quickly to the quality of the environment that surrounds them, corals have been identified as bioindicators of water quality and marine environmental health. The hyperspectral imaging system is proposed as a noninvasive tool to monitor different species of corals as well as coral state over time. This in turn can be used as a quick and non-invasive method to monitor environmental health that can later be extended to climate conditions. In this project, a laboratory-based hyperspectral imaging system is used to collect spectral and spatial information of corals. In the work presented here, MATLAB and ENVI software tools are used to view and process spatial information and coral spectral signatures to identify differences among the coral data. The results support the hypothesis that hyperspectral properties of corals vary among different coral species, and coral state over time, and hyperspectral imaging can be a used as a tool to document changes in coral species and state.

  6. Transcriptome profiling of Galaxea fascicularis and its endosymbiont Symbiodinium reveals chronic eutrophication tolerance pathways and metabolic mutualism between partners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zhenyue; Chen, Mingliang; Dong, Xu; Zheng, Xinqing; Huang, Haining; Xu, Xun; Chen, Jianming

    2017-02-01

    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.

  7. Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Nichole

    2010-07-01

    Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the "preferred" CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator.

  8. Bioindication in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, H T

    1986-01-01

    The concept of bioindication in the sense of the use of organisms for detecting environmental stress has been employed in coral reef conservation and management for the past several years. Important tools are coral growth rates and various community parameters, notably hard coral cover. The present need is the optimal coordination of international efforts for the earliest possible institution of an effective monitoring system.

  9. Estimating of larval stadia of West Indian sweetpotato weevil Euscepes postfasciatus (Fairmaire) developed in the artificial larval diet by measuring larval head widths.

    OpenAIRE

    下地, 幸夫; Shimoji, Yukio; 琉球産経株式会社

    2003-01-01

    The survey conducted by measuring larval head widths of West Indian sweetpotato weevil Euscepes postfasciatus developed in the artificial larval diet revealed that there were five larval stadia in the developmental period. The result of this experiment can be used to estimate the larval stadia approximately in the artificial larval diet.

  10. Coral Carbonic Anhydrases: Regulation by Ocean Acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccola, Didier; Innocenti, Alessio; Bertucci, Anthony; Tambutté, Eric; Supuran, Claudiu T; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2016-06-03

    Global change is a major threat to the oceans, as it implies temperature increase and acidification. Ocean acidification (OA) involving decreasing pH and changes in seawater carbonate chemistry challenges the capacity of corals to form their skeletons. Despite the large number of studies that have investigated how rates of calcification respond to ocean acidification scenarios, comparatively few studies tackle how ocean acidification impacts the physiological mechanisms that drive calcification itself. The aim of our paper was to determine how the carbonic anhydrases, which play a major role in calcification, are potentially regulated by ocean acidification. For this we measured the effect of pH on enzyme activity of two carbonic anhydrase isoforms that have been previously characterized in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. In addition we looked at gene expression of these enzymes in vivo. For both isoforms, our results show (1) a change in gene expression under OA (2) an effect of OA and temperature on carbonic anhydrase activity. We suggest that temperature increase could counterbalance the effect of OA on enzyme activity. Finally we point out that caution must, thus, be taken when interpreting transcriptomic data on carbonic anhydrases in ocean acidification and temperature stress experiments, as the effect of these stressors on the physiological function of CA will depend both on gene expression and enzyme activity.

  11. Coral Carbonic Anhydrases: Regulation by Ocean Acidification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didier Zoccola

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Global change is a major threat to the oceans, as it implies temperature increase and acidification. Ocean acidification (OA involving decreasing pH and changes in seawater carbonate chemistry challenges the capacity of corals to form their skeletons. Despite the large number of studies that have investigated how rates of calcification respond to ocean acidification scenarios, comparatively few studies tackle how ocean acidification impacts the physiological mechanisms that drive calcification itself. The aim of our paper was to determine how the carbonic anhydrases, which play a major role in calcification, are potentially regulated by ocean acidification. For this we measured the effect of pH on enzyme activity of two carbonic anhydrase isoforms that have been previously characterized in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. In addition we looked at gene expression of these enzymes in vivo. For both isoforms, our results show (1 a change in gene expression under OA (2 an effect of OA and temperature on carbonic anhydrase activity. We suggest that temperature increase could counterbalance the effect of OA on enzyme activity. Finally we point out that caution must, thus, be taken when interpreting transcriptomic data on carbonic anhydrases in ocean acidification and temperature stress experiments, as the effect of these stressors on the physiological function of CA will depend both on gene expression and enzyme activity.

  12. Coral Carbonic Anhydrases: Regulation by Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccola, Didier; Innocenti, Alessio; Bertucci, Anthony; Tambutté, Eric; Supuran, Claudiu T.; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Global change is a major threat to the oceans, as it implies temperature increase and acidification. Ocean acidification (OA) involving decreasing pH and changes in seawater carbonate chemistry challenges the capacity of corals to form their skeletons. Despite the large number of studies that have investigated how rates of calcification respond to ocean acidification scenarios, comparatively few studies tackle how ocean acidification impacts the physiological mechanisms that drive calcification itself. The aim of our paper was to determine how the carbonic anhydrases, which play a major role in calcification, are potentially regulated by ocean acidification. For this we measured the effect of pH on enzyme activity of two carbonic anhydrase isoforms that have been previously characterized in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. In addition we looked at gene expression of these enzymes in vivo. For both isoforms, our results show (1) a change in gene expression under OA (2) an effect of OA and temperature on carbonic anhydrase activity. We suggest that temperature increase could counterbalance the effect of OA on enzyme activity. Finally we point out that caution must, thus, be taken when interpreting transcriptomic data on carbonic anhydrases in ocean acidification and temperature stress experiments, as the effect of these stressors on the physiological function of CA will depend both on gene expression and enzyme activity. PMID:27271641

  13. Coral reefs in crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1997-01-01

    This article reports on the crisis facing reefs throughout the world and the struggle to save them. Coral reefs, one of the biological wonders of the world, are among the largest and oldest living communities of plants and animals on earth, having been evolved between 200 and 450 million years ago. Located mostly in the Pacific region, most established coral reefs are now dead and only the upper layer is covered by a thin changeable skin of living coral. Reefs, over the years, have been the main source of animal protein for over 1 billion people in Asia. Countries near the coastlines, which relied on the seas, have resorted to dynamite fishing, poisoning and other illegal and dangerous techniques. Overpopulation and pollution has caused the deteriorating conditions of the 600,000 sq. km of coral reefs worldwide. Despite these conditions, the government has ignored this problem as they struggle to develop their economies at the expense of common resources. In addition, this article narrates the efforts that are exerted by governments in promoting coral reef protection and management of these coastal resources, setting the Apo Island in the Philippines as an example of good management and sustainability.

  14. First feeding of larval herring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Munk, Peter; Støttrup, Josianne

    1985-01-01

    The transition period from endogenous to exogenous feeding by larval herring was investigated in the laboratory for four herring stocks in order to evaluate the chances of survival at the time of fiest feeding. Observations on larval activity, feeding and growth were related to amount of yolk......, visual experience with potential prey organisms prior to first feeding and prey density. Herring larvae did not initiate exogenous feeding until around the time of yolk resorption. The timing of first feeding was not influenced by prior exposure to potential prey organisms during the yolk sac stage....... In the light of these observations, the ecological significance of the yolk sac stage is discussed. Initiation of exogenous feeding was delayed by 1-4 days at a low (7.5 nauplii .cntdot. l-1) compared to a high (120 nauplii .cntdot. l-1) prey density, but even at prey densities corresponding to the lower end...

  15. 'Peer pressure' in larval Drosophila?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niewalda, Thomas; Jeske, Ines; Michels, Birgit; Gerber, Bertram

    2014-06-06

    Understanding social behaviour requires a study case that is simple enough to be tractable, yet complex enough to remain interesting. Do larval Drosophila meet these requirements? In a broad sense, this question can refer to effects of the mere presence of other larvae on the behaviour of a target individual. Here we focused in a more strict sense on 'peer pressure', that is on the question of whether the behaviour of a target individual larva is affected by what a surrounding group of larvae is doing. We found that innate olfactory preference of a target individual was neither affected (i) by the level of innate olfactory preference in the surrounding group nor (ii) by the expression of learned olfactory preference in the group. Likewise, learned olfactory preference of a target individual was neither affected (iii) by the level of innate olfactory preference of the surrounding group nor (iv) by the learned olfactory preference the group was expressing. We conclude that larval Drosophila thus do not take note of specifically what surrounding larvae are doing. This implies that in a strict sense, and to the extent tested, there is no social interaction between larvae. These results validate widely used en mass approaches to the behaviour of larval Drosophila.

  16. Applying cathodically polarised substrata to the restoration of a high value coral

    OpenAIRE

    Benedetti, Alessandro; Bramanti, Lorenzo; Tsounis, Gerogios; Faimali, Marco; Pavanello, Giovanni; Rossi, Sergio; Gili, Josep Maria; Santangelo, Giovanni

    2011-01-01

    Larval settlement of the high value red coral, Corallium rubrum, was studied on three different CaCO3 substrata, viz. lithogenic (marble), electro-accreted calcium carbonate in the presence and in the absence of cathodic polarisation. The last two substrata consisted of stainless steel plates galvanically coupled with Zn anodes. The electrochemical characterization of the settlement device was studied in order to investigate correlations between cathodic parameters (polarisation potential, cu...

  17. Exploring the larval fish community of the central Red Sea with an integrated morphological and molecular approach

    KAUST Repository

    Isari, Stamatina

    2017-08-03

    An important aspect of population dynamics for coral reef fishes is the input of new individuals from the pelagic larval pool. However, the high biodiversity and the difficulty of identifying larvae of closely related species represent obstacles to more fully understanding these populations. In this study, we combined morphology and genetic barcoding (Cytochrome Oxidase I gene) to characterize the seasonal patterns of the larval fish community at two sites in close proximity to coral reefs in the central-north Red Sea: one shallower inshore location (50 m depth) and a nearby site located in deeper and more offshore waters (~ 500 m depth). Fish larvae were collected using oblique tows of a 60 cm-bongo net (500 μm mesh size) every month for one year (2013). During the warmer period of the year (June-November), the larval fish stock was comparable between sampling sites. However, during the colder months, abundances were higher in the inshore than in the offshore waters. Taxonomic composition and temporal variation of community structure differed notably between sites, potentially reflecting habitat differences, reproductive patterns of adults, and/or advective processes in the area. Eleven out of a total of 62 recorded families comprised 69–94% of the fish larval community, depending on sampling site and month. Richness of taxa was notably higher in the inshore station compared to the offshore, particularly during the colder period of the year and especially for the gobiids and apogonids. Two mesopelagic taxa (Vinciguerria sp. and Benthosema spp.) comprised an important component of the larval community at the deeper site with only a small and sporadic occurrence in the shallower inshore waters. Our data provide an important baseline reference for the larval fish communities of the central Red Sea, representing the first such study from Saudi Arabian waters.

  18. Larval starvation to satiation: influence of nutrient regime on the success of Acanthaster planci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kennedy Wolfe

    Full Text Available High density populations of the crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci, are a major contributor to the decline of coral reefs, however the causes behind periodic outbreaks of this species are not understood. The enhanced nutrients hypothesis posits that pulses of enhanced larval food in eutrophic waters facilitate metamorphic success with a flow-on effect for population growth. The larval resilience hypothesis suggests that A. planci larvae naturally thrive in tropical oligotrophic waters. Both hypotheses remain to be tested empirically. We raised A. planci larvae in a range of food regimes from starvation (no food to satiation (excess food. Algal cell concentration and chlorophyll levels were used to reflect phytoplankton conditions in nature for oligotrophic waters (0-100 cells ml(-1; 0-0.01 μg chl a L(-1, natural background levels of nutrients on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR (1,000-10,000 cells ml(-1; 0.1-1.0 μg chl a L(-1, and enhanced eutrophic conditions following runoff events (100,000 cells ml(-1; 10 μg chl a L(-1. We determine how these food levels affected larval growth and survival, and the metamorphic link between larval experience and juvenile quality (size in experiments where food ration per larvae was carefully controlled. Phytoplankton levels of 1 μg chl a L(-1, close to background levels for some reefs on the GBR and following flood events, were optimal for larval success. Development was less successful above and below this food treatment. Enhanced larval performance at 1 μg chl a L(-1 provides empirical support for the enhanced nutrients hypothesis, but up to a limit, and emphasizes the need for appropriate mitigation strategies to reduce eutrophication and the consequent risk of A. planci outbreaks.

  19. Larval Starvation to Satiation: Influence of Nutrient Regime on the Success of Acanthaster planci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Kennedy; Graba-Landry, Alexia; Dworjanyn, Symon A.; Byrne, Maria

    2015-01-01

    High density populations of the crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci, are a major contributor to the decline of coral reefs, however the causes behind periodic outbreaks of this species are not understood. The enhanced nutrients hypothesis posits that pulses of enhanced larval food in eutrophic waters facilitate metamorphic success with a flow-on effect for population growth. The larval resilience hypothesis suggests that A. planci larvae naturally thrive in tropical oligotrophic waters. Both hypotheses remain to be tested empirically. We raised A. planci larvae in a range of food regimes from starvation (no food) to satiation (excess food). Algal cell concentration and chlorophyll levels were used to reflect phytoplankton conditions in nature for oligotrophic waters (0-100 cells ml-1; 0-0.01 μg chl a L-1), natural background levels of nutrients on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) (1,000-10,000 cells ml-1; 0.1-1.0 μg chl a L-1), and enhanced eutrophic conditions following runoff events (100,000 cells ml-1; 10 μg chl a L-1). We determine how these food levels affected larval growth and survival, and the metamorphic link between larval experience and juvenile quality (size) in experiments where food ration per larvae was carefully controlled. Phytoplankton levels of 1 μg chl a L-1, close to background levels for some reefs on the GBR and following flood events, were optimal for larval success. Development was less successful above and below this food treatment. Enhanced larval performance at 1 μg chl a L-1 provides empirical support for the enhanced nutrients hypothesis, but up to a limit, and emphasizes the need for appropriate mitigation strategies to reduce eutrophication and the consequent risk of A. planci outbreaks. PMID:25790074

  20. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.

    communication). Fossil reefs, drowned as a result of the Holocene sea level rise, occur at 92, 85, 75 and 55 m depth along .. ~ !! ":2 0. ~ Figure 3.1 Graphical Representation of the SO-Box Model of a Caribbean Coral Reef Key: 1. Benthic producers. 2. Detritus... explain the low species diversity and the absence of branching corals in the intertidal regions. H.aised fossil reefs, proba bly as a result of local upheavals, arc found in Minicoy island (Gardiner 1903), in Ramanalhapuram district in Tamil Nadu...

  1. Patterns and persistence of larval retention and connectivity in a marine fish metapopulation

    KAUST Repository

    Saenz Agudelo, Pablo

    2012-08-14

    Connectivity, the demographic linking of local populations through the dispersal of individuals, is one of the most poorly understood processes in population dynamics, yet has profound implications for conservation and harvest strategies. For marine species with pelagic larvae, direct estimation of connectivity remains logistically challenging and has mostly been limited to single snapshots in time. Here, we document seasonal and interannual patterns of larval dispersal in a metapopulation of the coral reef fish Amphiprion polymnus. A 3-year record of larval trajectories within and among nine discrete local populations from an area of approximately 35 km was established by determining the natal origin of settled juveniles through DNA parentage analysis. We found that spatial patterns of both self-recruitment and connectivity were remarkably consistent over time, with a low level of self-recruitment at the scale of individual sites. Connectivity among sites was common and multidirectional in all years and was not significantly influenced by seasonal variability of predominant surface current directions. However, approximately 75% of the sampled juveniles could not be assigned to parents within the study area, indicating high levels of immigrations from sources outside the study area. The data support predictions that the magnitude and temporal stability of larval connectivity decreases significantly with increasing distance between subpopulations, but increases with the size of subpopulations. Given the considerable effort needed to directly measure larval exchange, the consistent patterns suggest snapshot parentage analyses can provide useful dispersal estimates to inform spatial management decisions. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Do human activities influence survival and orientation abilities of larval fishes in the ocean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebeck, Ulrike E; O'Connor, Jack; Braun, Christoph; Leis, Jeffrey M

    2015-01-01

    The larval stages of most marine fishes spend days to weeks in the pelagic environment, where they must find food and avoid predators in order to survive. Some fish only spend part of their life history in the pelagic environment before returning to their adult habitat, for example, a coral reef. The sensory systems of larval fish develop rapidly during the first few days of their lives, and here we concentrate on the various sensory cues the fish have available to them for survival in the pelagic environment. We focus on the larvae of reef fishes because most is known about them. We also review the major threats caused by human activities that have been identified to have worldwide impact and evaluate how these threats may impact larval-fish survival and orientation abilities. Many human activities negatively affect larval-fish sensory systems or the cues the fish need to detect. Ultimately, this could lead to decreased numbers of larvae surviving to settlement, and, therefore, to decreased abundance of adult fishes. Although we focus on species wherein the larvae and adults occupy different habitats (pelagic and demersal, respectively), it is important to acknowledge that the potential anthropogenic effects we identify may also apply to larvae of species like tuna and herring, where both larvae and adults are pelagic. © 2014 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  3. Web services for transcriptomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neerincx, P.

    2009-01-01

    Transcriptomics is part of a family of disciplines focussing on high throughput molecular biology experiments. In the case of transcriptomics, scientists study the expression of genes resulting in transcripts. These transcripts can either perform a biological function themselves or function as messe

  4. Web services for transcriptomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neerincx, P.

    2009-01-01

    Transcriptomics is part of a family of disciplines focussing on high throughput molecular biology experiments. In the case of transcriptomics, scientists study the expression of genes resulting in transcripts. These transcripts can either perform a biological function themselves or function as messe

  5. Oceanographic and behavioural assumptions in models of the fate of coral and coral reef fish larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolanski, Eric; Kingsford, Michael J

    2014-09-06

    A predictive model of the fate of coral reef fish larvae in a reef system is proposed that combines the oceanographic processes of advection and turbulent diffusion with the biological process of horizontal swimming controlled by olfactory and auditory cues within the timescales of larval development. In the model, auditory cues resulted in swimming towards the reefs when within hearing distance of the reef, whereas olfactory cues resulted in the larvae swimming towards the natal reef in open waters by swimming against the concentration gradients in the smell plume emanating from the natal reef. The model suggested that the self-seeding rate may be quite large, at least 20% for the larvae of rapidly developing reef fish species, which contrasted with a self-seeding rate less than 2% for non-swimming coral larvae. The predicted self-recruitment rate of reefs was sensitive to a number of parameters, such as the time at which the fish larvae reach post-flexion, the pelagic larval duration of the larvae, the horizontal turbulent diffusion coefficient in reefal waters and the horizontal swimming behaviour of the fish larvae in response to auditory and olfactory cues, for which better field data are needed. Thus, the model suggested that high self-seeding rates for reef fish are possible, even in areas where the 'sticky water' effect is minimal and in the absence of long-term trapping in oceanic fronts and/or large-scale oceanic eddies or filaments that are often argued to facilitate the return of the larvae after long periods of drifting at sea. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Chronic coral consumption by butterflyfishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, A. J.; Lawton, R. J.; Pratchett, M. S.; Wilson, S. K.

    2011-03-01

    Interactions between predators and prey organisms are of fundamental importance to ecological communities. While the ecological impact that grazing predators can have in terrestrial and temperate marine systems are well established, the importance of coral grazers on tropical reefs has rarely been considered. In this study, we estimate the biomass of coral tissue consumed by four prominent species of corallivorous butterflyfishes. Sub-adult butterflyfishes (60-70 mm, 6-11 g) remove between 0.6 and 0.9 g of live coral tissue per day, while larger adults (>110 mm, ~40-50 g) remove between 1.5 and 3 g of coral tissue each day. These individual consumption rates correspond to the population of coral-feeding butterflyfishes at three exposed reef crest habitats at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, consuming between 14.6 g (±2.0) and 19.6 g (±3.9) .200 m-2 day-1 of coral tissue. When standardised to the biomass of butterflyfishes present, a combined reefwide removal rate of 4.2 g (±1.2) of coral tissue is consumed per 200 m-2 kg-1 of coral-feeding butterflyfishes. The quantity of coral tissue removed by these predators is considerably larger than previously expected and indicates that coral grazers are likely to play an important role in the transfer of energy fixed by corals to higher consumers. Chronic coral consumption by butterflyfishes is expected to exact a large energetic cost upon prey corals and contribute to an increased rate of coral loss on reefs already threatened by anthropogenic pressure and ongoing climate change.

  7. Corals from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patzert, William C.

    1999-01-01

    The goal of this research is to monitor the health and vigor of coral reef ecosystems, and their sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic climate changes. To achieve these lofty goals, this research is investigating the feasibility of using spaceborne high-resolution spectrometers (on the US Landsat, French Systeme Probatoire pour l'Observation de la Terre [SPOT] and/or the Indian Resources Satellite [IRS 1C & 1D] spacecraft) to first map the aerial extent of coral reef systems, and second separate the amount of particular corals. If this is successful, we could potentially provide a quantum leap in our understanding of coral reef systems, as well as provide much needed baseline data to measure future changes in global coral reef ecosystems. In collaboration with Tomas Tomascik, Yann Morel, and other colleagues, a series of experiments were planned to coordinate in situ coral observations, high-resolution spaceborne imagery (from Landsat, SPOT, and, possibly, IRS IC spacecraft), and NASA Space Shuttle photographs and digital images. Our eventual goal is to develop "coral health algorithms" that can be used to assess time series of imagery collected from satellite sensors (Landsat since 1972, SPOT since 1986) in concert with in situ observations. The bad news from last year was that from 1997 to mid- 1998, the extreme cloudiness over southeast Asia due to prolonged smoke from El Nino-related fires and the economic chaos in this region frustrated both our space and reef-based data collection activities. When this volatile situation stabilizes, we will restart these activities. The good news was that in collaboration with Al Strong at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) we had an exciting year operationally using the NOAA's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer sensor derived sea surface temperature products to warn of coral "bleaching" at many locations throughout the tropics. Data from NOAA's satellites showed that during the El Nino of

  8. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef communities in Puerto Rico using the Coral Demographics method

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Coral Demographic method is one of two benthic surveys conducted in Puerto Rico as part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). The coral...

  9. Out of their depth? Isolated deep populations of the cosmopolitan coral Desmophyllum dianthus may be highly vulnerable to environmental change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen J Miller

    Full Text Available Deep sea scleractinian corals will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, facing loss of up to 70% of their habitat as the Aragonite Saturation Horizon (below which corals are unable to form calcium carbonate skeletons rises. Persistence of deep sea scleractinian corals will therefore rely on the ability of larvae to disperse to, and colonise, suitable shallow-water habitat. We used DNA sequence data of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS, the mitochondrial ribosomal subunit (16S and mitochondrial control region (MtC to determine levels of gene flow both within and among populations of the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus in SE Australia, New Zealand and Chile to assess the ability of corals to disperse into different regions and habitats. We found significant genetic subdivision among the three widely separated geographic regions consistent with isolation and limited contemporary gene flow. Furthermore, corals from different depth strata (shallow 1500 m even on the same or nearby seamounts were strongly differentiated, indicating limited vertical larval dispersal. Genetic differentiation with depth is consistent with the stratification of the Subantarctic Mode Water, Antarctic Intermediate Water, the Circumpolar Deep and North Pacific Deep Waters in the Southern Ocean, and we propose that coral larvae will be retained within, and rarely migrate among, these water masses. The apparent absence of vertical larval dispersal suggests deep populations of D. dianthus are unlikely to colonise shallow water as the aragonite saturation horizon rises and deep waters become uninhabitable. Similarly, assumptions that deep populations will act as refuges for shallow populations that are impacted by activities such as fishing or mining are also unlikely to hold true. Clearly future environmental management strategies must consider both regional and depth-related isolation of deep-sea coral populations.

  10. Revealing Holobiont Structure and Function of Three Red Sea Deep-Sea Corals

    KAUST Repository

    Yum, Lauren

    2014-12-01

    Deep-sea corals have long been regarded as cold-water coral; however a reevaluation of their habitat limitations has been suggested after the discovery of deep-sea coral in the Red Sea where temperatures exceed 20˚C. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals at these temperatures, the work in this PhD employed a holotranscriptomic approach, looking at coral animal host and bacterial symbiont gene expression in Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus sp. sampled from the deep Red Sea. Bacterial community composition was analyzed via amplicon-based 16S surveys and cultured bacterial strains were subjected to bioprospecting in order to gauge the pharmaceutical potential of coralassociated microbes. Coral host transcriptome data suggest that coral can employ mitochondrial hypometabolism, anaerobic glycolysis, and surface cilia to enhance mass transport rates to manage the low oxygen and highly oligotrophic Red Sea waters. In the microbial community associated with these corals, ribokinases and retron-type reverse transcriptases are abundantly expressed. In its first application to deep-sea coral associated microbial communities, 16S-based next-generation sequencing found that a single operational taxonomic unit can comprise the majority of sequence reads and that a large number of low abundance populations are present, which cannot be visualized with first generation sequencing. Bioactivity testing of selected bacterial isolates was surveyed over 100 cytological parameters with high content screening, covering several major organelles and key proteins involved in a variety of signaling cascades. Some of these cytological profiles were similar to those of several reference pharmacologically active compounds, which suggest that the bacteria isolates produce compounds with similar mechanisms of action as the reference compounds. The sum of this work offers several mechanisms by which Red Sea deep-sea corals cope with environmental

  11. Coral reefs at risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    Eighty-eight percent of Southeast Asia's reefs are threatened by overfishing, destructive fishing, and sedimentation and pollution from inland activities, according to a new report by 35 regional scientists published by the World Resources Institute.Nearly 100,000 square kilometers of coral reefs—34% of the world's total—are located in Southeast Asia.

  12. Coral Reef Biological Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs worldwide are experiencing decline from a variety of stressors. Some important stressors are land-based sources of pollution and human activities in the coastal zone. However, few tools are available to offset the impact of these stressors. The Clean Water Act (CWA...

  13. Coral Reef Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Helen T.

    Coral reefs are geological structures of significant dimensions, constructed over millions of years by calcifying organisms. The present day reef-builders are hard corals belonging to the order Scleractinia, phylum Cnidaria. The greatest concentrations of coral reefs are in the tropics, with highest levels of biodiversity situated in reefs of the Indo-West Pacific region. These ecosystems have provided coastal protection and livelihood to human populations over the millennia. Human activities have caused destruction of these habitats, the intensity of which has increased alarmingly since the latter decades of the twentieth century. The severity of this impact is directly related to exponential growth rates of human populations especially in the coastal areas of the developing world. However, a more recently recognized phenomenon concerns disturbances brought about by the changing climate, manifested mainly as rising sea surface temperatures, and increasing acidification of ocean waters due to greater drawdown of higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Management efforts have so far not kept pace with the rates of degradation, so that the spatial extent of damaged reefs and the incidences of localized extinction of reef species are increasing year after year. The major management efforts to date consist of establishing marine protected areas and promoting the active restoration of coral habitats.

  14. Raiding the Coral Nurseries?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M. Jones

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available A recent shift in the pattern of commercial harvest in the Keppel Island region of the southern inshore Great Barrier Reef raises concern about the depletion of a number of relatively rare restricted range taxa. The shift appears to be driven by demand from the United States (US for corals for domestic aquaria. Data from the annual status reports from the Queensland Coral Fishery were compared with export trade data to the US from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES. Evidence was found of recent increases in the harvest of species from the Mussidae family (Acanthastrea spp. which appears to be largely driven by demand from the US. On present trends, the industry runs the risk of localized depletion of Blastomussa and Scolymia; evidenced by an increase in the harvest of small specimens and the trend of decreasing harvest despite a concurrent increase in demand. Considering their relatively high sediment tolerance compared to other reef-building species, and the current lack of information about their functional role in reef stability, the trend raises concerns about the impact of the harvest on local coral communities. The recent shift in harvest patterns could have impacts on slow-growing species by allowing harvest beyond the rate of population regeneration. In light of these factors, combined with the value of such species to local tourism, a commercial coral fishery based on uncommon but highly sought-after species may not be ecologically sustainable or economically viable in the Keppels.

  15. Density-dependent coral recruitment displays divergent responses during distinct early life-history stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doropoulos, Christopher; Evensen, Nicolas R; Gómez-Lemos, Luis A; Babcock, Russell C

    2017-05-01

    Population growth involves demographic bottlenecks that regulate recruitment success during various early life-history stages. The success of each early life-history stage can vary in response to population density, interacting with intrinsic (e.g. behavioural) and environmental (e.g. competition, predation) factors. Here, we used the common reef-building coral Acropora millepora to investigate how density-dependence influences larval survival and settlement in laboratory experiments that isolated intrinsic effects, and post-settlement survival in a field experiment that examined interactions with environmental factors. Larval survival was exceptionally high (greater than 80%) and density-independent from 2.5 to 12 days following spawning. By contrast, there was a weak positive effect of larval density on settlement, driven by gregarious behaviour at the highest density. When larval supply was saturated, settlement was three times higher in crevices compared with exposed microhabitats, but a negative relationship between settler density and post-settlement survival in crevices and density-independent survival on exposed surfaces resulted in similar recruit densities just one month following settlement. Moreover, a negative relationship was found between turf algae and settler survival in crevices, whereas gregarious settlement improved settler survival on exposed surfaces. Overall, our findings reveal divergent responses by coral larvae and newly settled recruits to density-dependent regulation, mediated by intrinsic and environmental interactions.

  16. Ocean acidification compromises recruitment success of the threatened Caribbean coral Acropora palmata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Rebecca; Mason, Benjamin; Miller, Margaret; Langdon, Chris

    2010-11-23

    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 and survivorship, is critical to the persistence and resilience of coral reefs. To determine whether OA threatens successful sexual recruitment of reef-building corals, we tested fertilization, settlement, and postsettlement growth of Acropora palmata at pCO(2) levels that represent average ambient conditions during coral spawning (∼400 μatm) and the range of pCO(2) increases that are expected to occur in this century [∼560 μatm (mid-CO(2)) and ∼800 μatm (high-CO(2))]. Fertilization, settlement, and growth were all negatively impacted by increasing pCO(2), and impairment of fertilization was exacerbated at lower sperm concentrations. The cumulative impact of OA on fertilization and settlement success is an estimated 52% and 73% reduction in the number of larval settlers on the reef under pCO(2) conditions projected for the middle and the end of this century, respectively. Additional declines of 39% (mid-CO(2)) and 50% (high-CO(2)) were observed in postsettlement linear extension rates relative to controls. These results suggest that OA has the potential to impact multiple, sequential early life history stages, thereby severely compromising sexual recruitment and the ability of coral reefs to recover from disturbance.

  17. Differential responses of the coral host and their algal symbiont to thermal stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Leggat

    Full Text Available The success of any symbiosis under stress conditions is dependent upon the responses of both partners to that stress. The coral symbiosis is particularly susceptible to small increases of temperature above the long term summer maxima, which leads to the phenomenon known as coral bleaching, where the intracellular dinoflagellate symbionts are expelled. Here we for the first time used quantitative PCR to simultaneously examine the gene expression response of orthologs of the coral Acropora aspera and their dinoflagellate symbiont Symbiodinium. During an experimental bleaching event significant up-regulation of genes involved in stress response (HSP90 and HSP70 and carbon metabolism (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase from the coral host were observed. In contrast in the symbiont, HSP90 expression decreased, while HSP70 levels were increased on only one day, and only the α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase expression levels were found to increase. In addition the changes seen in expression patterns of the coral host were much larger, up to 10.5 fold, compared to the symbiont response, which in all cases was less than 2-fold. This targeted study of the expression of key metabolic and stress genes demonstrates that the response of the coral and their symbiont vary significantly, also a response in the host transcriptome was observed prior to what has previously been thought to be the temperatures at which thermal stress events occur.

  18. The biology and ecology of black corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Antipatharia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Daniel; Luck, Daniel G; Toonen, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    Antipatharians, commonly known as black corals, are treasured by many cultures for medicinal purposes and to produce jewellery. Despite their economic and cultural importance, very little is known about the basic biology and ecology of black corals because most species inhabit deeper-water environments (>50m) which are logistically challenging to study. There has been a recent increase of studies focusing on antipatharians; however, these have not yet been comprehensively reviewed. This literature review seeks to summarize the available information on the biology and ecology of antipatharians. Although black corals occur throughout all oceans and from subtidal to abyssal depths, they are particularly common in tropical and subtropical regions at depths below 50m. Antipatharians are generally found in areas with hard substrates, low-light and strong currents. Under favourable conditions, some black coral species form dense aggregations to the point of becoming ecologically dominant. Zooplankton appears to be the major component of the diet of black corals, which feed as suspension feeders and use mucus and nematocysts to capture their prey. Previously categorized as azooxanthellate corals, recent research has revealed that many antipatharians appear capable of harbouring symbionts, but unlike other corals, dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium are generally not important to the nutrition of black corals. Antipatharians reproduce through both sexual and asexual processes. In general, polyps and colonies are gonochoric, with fertilization and larval development likely occurring externally; however, to date antipatharian larvae have only been observed for a single species. Antipatharians are generally slow-growing and long-lived organisms with maximum longevities ranging from decades to millennia. Black corals are more abundant with depth, a pattern which has been hypothesized to avoid competition with obligate photosynthetic fauna. Additionally, antipatharians may

  19. To understand coral disease, look at coral cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Meteyer, Carol

    2014-01-01

    Diseases threaten corals globally, but 40 years on their causes remain mostly unknown. We hypothesize that inconsistent application of a complete diagnostic approach to coral disease has contributed to this slow progress. We quantified methods used to investigate coral disease in 492 papers published between 1965 and 2013. Field surveys were used in 65% of the papers, followed by biodetection (43%), laboratory trials (20%), microscopic pathology (21%), and field trials (9%). Of the microscopic pathology efforts, 57% involved standard histopathology at the light microscopic level (12% of the total investigations), with the remainder dedicated to electron or fluorescence microscopy. Most (74%) biodetection efforts focused on culture or molecular characterization of bacteria or fungi from corals. Molecular and immunological tools have been used to incriminate infectious agents (mainly bacteria) as the cause of coral diseases without relating the agent to specific changes in cell and tissue pathology. Of 19 papers that declared an infectious agent as a cause of disease in corals, only one (5%) used microscopic pathology, and none fulfilled all of the criteria required to satisfy Koch’s postulates as applied to animal diseases currently. Vertebrate diseases of skin and mucosal surfaces present challenges similar to corals when trying to identify a pathogen from a vast array of environmental microbes, and diagnostic approaches regularly used in these cases might provide a model for investigating coral diseases. We hope this review will encourage specialists of disease in domestic animals, wildlife, fish, shellfish, and humans to contribute to the emerging field of coral disease.

  20. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaldo, Roberta M; Hay, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae), and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa) against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  1. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta M Bonaldo

    Full Text Available Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae, and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  2. Spectral response of the coral rubble, living corals, and dead corals: study case on the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Yamano, Hiroya; Arafat, Gulam; Rani, Chair; Akbar AS, M.

    2012-10-01

    Coral reefs play important ecological services such as providing foods, biodiversity, nutrient recycling etc. for human society. On the other hand, they are threatened by human impacts such as illegal fishing and environmental changes such as rises of sea water temperature and sea level due to global warming. Thus, it is very important to monitor dynamic spatial distributions of coral reefs and related habitats such as coral rubble, dead coral, bleached corals, seagrass, etc. Hyperspectral data, in particular, offer high potential for characterizing and mapping coral reefs because of their capability to identify individual reef components based on their detailed spectral response. We studied the optical properties by measuring in situ spectra of living corals, dead coral and coral rubble covered with algae. Study site was selected in Spermonde archipelago, South Sulawesi, Indonesia because this area is included in the highest diversity of corals in the world named as Coral Triangle, which is recognized as the global centre of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation. Correlation analysis and cluster analysis support that there are distinct differences in reflectance spectra among categories. Common spectral characteristic of living corals, dead corals and coral rubble covered with algae was a reflectance minimum at 674 nm. Healthy corals, dead coral covered with algae and coral rubble covered with algae showed high similarity of spectral reflectance. It is estimated that this is due to photsynthetic pigments.

  3. Progress in prokaryotic transcriptomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filiatrault, Melanie J

    2011-10-01

    Genome-wide expression studies transformed the field of transcriptomics and made it feasible to study global gene expression in extraordinary detail. These new methods have revealed an enhanced view of the transcriptional landscape and have yielded many biological insights. It is increasingly clear that the prokaryotic transcriptome is much more complex than once thought. Recent advances in microbial transcriptome analyses are highlighted in this review. Areas of progress include the development of optimized techniques that minimize the abundance of ribosomal RNAs in RNA samples as well as the development of novel methods to create transcriptome libraries. Advances such as these have led to a new emphasis in areas such as metatranscriptomics and single cell gene expression studies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. [Canine peritoneal larval cestodosis caused by Mesocestoides spp. larval stages].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häußler, T C; Peppler, C; Schmitz, S; Bauer, C; Hirzmann, J; Kramer, M

    2016-01-01

    In a female dog with unspecific clinical symptoms, sonography detected a hyperechoic mass in the middle abdomen and blood analysis a middle grade systemic inflammatory reaction. Laparotomy revealed a peritoneal larval cestodosis (PLC). The diagnosis of an infection with tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides spp. was confirmed by parasitological examination and molecularbiological analysis. Reduction of the intra-abdominal parasitic load as well as a high dose administration of fenbendazole over 3 months led to a successful treatment which could be documented sonographically and by decreased concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP). Seven months after discontinuation of fenbendazole administration, PLC recurred, pre-empted by an elevation of serum CRP values. According to the literature a life-long fenbendazole treatment was initiated. In cases of unclear chronic granulomatous inflammations in the abdominal cavity in dogs, PLC should be considered. CRP concentration and sonographic examinations are suitable to control for treatment success and a possibly occurring relapse.

  5. Larval export from marine reserves and the recruitment benefit for fish and fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Hugo B; Williamson, David H; Evans, Richard D; Almany, Glenn R; Thorrold, Simon R; Russ, Garry R; Feldheim, Kevin A; van Herwerden, Lynne; Planes, Serge; Srinivasan, Maya; Berumen, Michael L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2012-06-05

    Marine reserves, areas closed to all forms of fishing, continue to be advocated and implemented to supplement fisheries and conserve populations. However, although the reproductive potential of important fishery species can dramatically increase inside reserves, the extent to which larval offspring are exported and the relative contribution of reserves to recruitment in fished and protected populations are unknown. Using genetic parentage analyses, we resolve patterns of larval dispersal for two species of exploited coral reef fish within a network of marine reserves on the Great Barrier Reef. In a 1,000 km(2) study area, populations resident in three reserves exported 83% (coral trout, Plectropomus maculatus) and 55% (stripey snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus) of assigned offspring to fished reefs, with the remainder having recruited to natal reserves or other reserves in the region. We estimate that reserves, which account for just 28% of the local reef area, produced approximately half of all juvenile recruitment to both reserve and fished reefs within 30 km. Our results provide compelling evidence that adequately protected reserve networks can make a significant contribution to the replenishment of populations on both reserve and fished reefs at a scale that benefits local stakeholders.

  6. Larval export from marine reserves and the recruitment benefit for fish and fisheries

    KAUST Repository

    Harrison, Hugo B.

    2012-06-01

    Marine reserves, areas closed to all forms of fishing, continue to be advocated and implemented to supplement fisheries and conserve populations [1-4]. However, although the reproductive potential of important fishery species can dramatically increase inside reserves [5-8], the extent to which larval offspring are exported and the relative contribution of reserves to recruitment in fished and protected populations are unknown [4, 9-11]. Using genetic parentage analyses, we resolve patterns of larval dispersal for two species of exploited coral reef fish within a network of marine reserves on the Great Barrier Reef. In a 1,000 km 2 study area, populations resident in three reserves exported 83% (coral trout, Plectropomus maculatus) and 55% (stripey snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus) of assigned offspring to fished reefs, with the remainder having recruited to natal reserves or other reserves in the region. We estimate that reserves, which account for just 28% of the local reef area, produced approximately half of all juvenile recruitment to both reserve and fished reefs within 30 km. Our results provide compelling evidence that adequately protected reserve networks can make a significant contribution to the replenishment of populations on both reserve and fished reefs at a scale that benefits local stakeholders. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Nitrification in reef corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.; David, J.J.

    cells cmP2 (Drew 1972), it is reasonable to expect that nitrification will have to compete with assimilatory re- moval of NH,+. The relative importance of NH4+ flux in these two pathways can be evaluated with the present data on NO,- production... about the means in the es- timates, this correspondence shows that bacterial nitrification effectively competes with autotrophic uptake of NH,+ in coral- zooxanthellae symbiosis. In fact, our nitrification rates would be underestimates since losses...

  8. Next-generation transcriptome assembly

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Jeffrey A.; Wang, Zhong

    2011-09-01

    Transcriptomics studies often rely on partial reference transcriptomes that fail to capture the full catalog of transcripts and their variations. Recent advances in sequencing technologies and assembly algorithms have facilitated the reconstruction of the entire transcriptome by deep RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), even without a reference genome. However, transcriptome assembly from billions of RNA-seq reads, which are often very short, poses a significant informatics challenge. This Review summarizes the recent developments in transcriptome assembly approaches - reference-based, de novo and combined strategies-along with some perspectives on transcriptome assembly in the near future.

  9. Osmoadjustment in the Coral Holobiont

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs are under considerable decline. The framework builders in coral reefs are scleractinian corals, which comprise so-called holobionts, consisting of cnidarian host, algal symbionts (genus Symbiodinium), and other associated microbes. Corals are commonly considered stenohaline osmoconformers, possessing limited capability to adjust to salinity changes. However, corals differ in their ability to cope with different salinities. The underlying mechanisms have not yet been addressed. To further understand putative mechanisms involved, I examined coral holobiont osmoregulation conducting a range of experiments on the coral Fungia granulosa. In my research F. granulosa from the Red Sea exhibited pronounced physiological reactions (decreased photosynthesis, cessation of calcification) upon short-term incubations (4 h) to high salinity (55). However, during a 29-day in situ salinity transect experiment, coral holobiont photosynthesis was unimpaired under high salinity (49) indicating acclimatization. F. granulosa microbiome changes after the 29-day high salinity exposure aligned with a bacterial community restructuring that putatively supports the coral salinity acclimatization (osmolyte synthesis, nutrient fixation/cycling). Long-term incubations (7 d) of cultured Symbiodinium exhibited cell growth even at ‘extreme’ salinity levels of 25 and 55. Metabolic profiles of four Symbiodinium strains exposed to increased (55) and decreased (25) salinities for 4 h indicated distinct carbohydrates and amino acids to be putatively involved in the osmoadjustment. Importantly, under high salinity the osmolyte floridoside was consistently increased. This could be corroborated in the coral model Aiptasia and in corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, where floridoside was also markedly increased upon short- (15 h) and long-term (>24 months) exposure to high salinity, confirming an important role of floridoside in the osmoadjustment of cnidarian holobionts. This thesis

  10. Regional-scale scenario modeling for coral reefs: a decision support tool to inform management of a complex system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Johnson, Craig R; Fung, Tak; Seymour, Robert M; Chérubin, Laurent M; Arias-González, J Ernesto; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2011-06-01

    The worldwide decline of coral reefs threatens the livelihoods of coastal communities and puts at risk valuable ecosystem services provided by reefs. There is a pressing need for robust predictions of potential futures of coral reef and associated human systems under alternative management scenarios. Understanding and predicting the dynamics of coral reef systems at regional scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers is imperative, because reef systems are connected by physical and socioeconomic processes across regions and often across international boundaries. We present a spatially explicit regional-scale model of ecological dynamics for a general coral reef system. In designing our model as a tool for decision support, we gave precedence to portability and accessibility; the model can be parameterized for dissimilar coral reef systems in different parts of the world, and the model components and outputs are understandable for nonexperts. The model simulates local-scale dynamics, which are coupled across regions through larval connectivity between reefs. We validate our model using an instantiation for the Meso-American Reef system. The model realistically captures local and regional ecological dynamics and responds to external forcings in the form of harvesting, pollution, and physical damage (e.g., hurricanes, coral bleaching) to produce trajectories that largely fall within limits observed in the real system. Moreover, the model demonstrates behaviors that have relevance for management considerations. In particular, differences in larval supply between reef localities drive spatial variability in modeled reef community structure. Reef tracts for which recruitment is low are more vulnerable to natural disturbance and synergistic effects of anthropogenic stressors. Our approach provides a framework for projecting the likelihood of different reef futures at local to regional scales, with important applications for the management of complex coral reef systems.

  11. Reproductive biology of the deep brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix: Implications for shallow reef recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasetia, Rian; Sinniger, Frederic; Hashizume, Kaito; Harii, Saki

    2017-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs, between 30 and 150 m depth) are hypothesized to contribute to the recovery of degraded shallow reefs through sexually produced larvae (referred to as Deep Reef Refuge Hypothesis). In Okinawa, Japan, the brooder coral Seriatopora hystrix was reported to be locally extinct in a shallow reef while it was found abundant at a MCE nearby. In this context, S. hystrix represents a key model to test the Deep Reef Refuge Hypothesis and to understand the potential contribution of mesophotic corals to shallow coral reef recovery. However, the reproductive biology of mesophotic S. hystrix and its potential to recolonize shallow reefs is currently unknown. This study reports for the first time, different temporal scales of reproductive periodicity and larval settlement of S. hystrix from an upper mesophotic reef (40 m depth) in Okinawa. We examined reproductive seasonality, lunar, and circadian periodicity (based on polyp dissection, histology, and ex situ planula release observations) and larval settlement rates in the laboratory. Mesophotic S. hystrix reproduced mainly in July and early August, with a small number of planulae being released at the end of May, June and August. Compared to shallow colonies in the same region, mesophotic S. hystrix has a 4-month shorter reproductive season, similar circadian periodicity, and smaller planula size. In addition, most of the planulae settled rapidly, limiting larval dispersal potential. The shorter reproductive season and smaller planula size may result from limited energy available for reproduction at deeper depths, while the similar circadian periodicity suggests that this reproductive aspect is not affected by environmental conditions differing with depth. Overall, contribution of mesophotic S. hystrix to shallow reef rapid recovery appears limited, although they may recruit to shallow reefs through a multistep process over a few generations or through random extreme mixing such as typhoons.

  12. Sediment pollution impacts sensory ability and performance of settling coral-reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, J Jack; Lecchini, David; Beck, Hayden J; Cadiou, Gwenael; Lecellier, Gael; Booth, David J; Nakamura, Yohei

    2016-01-01

    Marine organisms are under threat globally from a suite of anthropogenic sources, but the current emphasis on global climate change has deflected the focus from local impacts. While the effect of increased sedimentation on the settlement of coral species is well studied, little is known about the impact on larval fish. Here, the effect of a laterite "red soil" sediment pollutant on settlement behaviour and post-settlement performance of reef fish was tested. In aquarium tests that isolated sensory cues, we found significant olfaction-based avoidance behaviour and disruption of visual cue use in settlement-stage larval fish at 50 mg L(-1), a concentration regularly exceeded in situ during rain events. In situ light trap catches showed lower abundance and species richness in the presence of red soil, but were not significantly different due to high variance in the data. Prolonged exposure to red soil produced altered olfactory cue responses, whereby fish in red soil made a likely maladaptive choice for dead coral compared to controls where fish chose live coral. Other significant effects of prolonged exposure included decreased feeding rates and body condition. These effects on fish larvae reared over 5 days occurred in the presence of a minor drop in pH and may be due to the chemical influence of the sediment. Our results show that sediment pollution of coral reefs may have more complex effects on the ability of larval fish to successfully locate suitable habitat than previously thought, as well as impacting on their post-settlement performance and, ultimately, recruitment success.

  13. Larval helminths in intermediate hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredensborg, Brian Lund; Poulin, R

    2005-01-01

    a reduction in size, caused by crowding, virtually nothing is known about longer-lasting effects after transmission to the definitive host. This study is the first to use in vitro cultivation with feeding of adult trematodes to investigate how numbers of parasites in the intermediate host affect the size......Density-dependent effects on parasite fitness have been documented from adult helminths in their definitive hosts. There have, however, been no studies on the cost of sharing an intermediate host with other parasites in terms of reduced adult parasite fecundity. Even if larval parasites suffer...... and fecundity of adult parasites. For this purpose, we examined two different infracommunities of parasites in crustacean hosts. Firstly, we used experimental infections of Maritrema novaezealandensis in the amphipod, Paracalliope novizealandiae, to investigate potential density-dependent effects in single...

  14. The Use of Simulated Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Imagery for Coral Reef Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estep, L.; Spruce, J.; Blonski, S.; Moore, R.

    2008-01-01

    Coral reefs are some of the most biologically rich and economically important ecosystems on Earth. Coral reefs are Earth's largest biological structures and have taken thousands of years to form. Coral reefs not only provide important habitat for many marine animals and plants, but they also provide humanity with food, jobs, chemicals, protection against storms, and life-saving pharmaceuticals. Severe bleaching events have occurred that have dramatic long-term ecological impacts to corals, including loss of reef-building corals, changes in benthic habitat, and, in some cases, changes in larval fish populations (Holden and Ledrew, 1998). Some researchers suggest that 10 percent of Earth s coral reefs have already been destroyed and that another 60 percent are in danger. Scientists have proposed that as much as 95 percent of Jamaica's reefs are dying or dead. This poster reports on a Rapid Prototyping Capability (RPC) experiment done to determine whether future NASA sensors - the Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) - could generate key data products for the Integrated Coral Reef Observation Network (ICON)/Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) Decision Support Tool (DST) operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  15. Depth-Independent Reproduction in the Reef Coral Porites astreoides from Shallow to Mesophotic Zones.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel M Holstein

    Full Text Available Mesophotic coral ecosystems between 30-150 m may be important refugia habitat for coral reefs and associated benthic communities from climate change and coastal development. However, reduced light at mesophotic depths may present an energetic challenge to the successful reproduction of light-dependent coral organisms, and limit this refugia potential. Here, the relationship of depth and fecundity was investigated in a brooding depth-generalist scleractinian coral, Porites astreoides from 5-37 m in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI using paraffin tissue histology. Despite a trend of increasing planulae production with depth, no significant differences were found in mean peak planulae density between shallow, mid-depth and mesophotic sites. Differential planulae production over depth is thus controlled by P. astreoides coral cover, which peaks at 10 m and ~35 m in the USVI. These results suggest that mesophotic ecosystems are reproductive refuge for P. astreoides in the USVI, and may behave as refugia for P. astreoides metapopulations providing that vertical larval exchanges are viable.

  16. Biotic control of skeletal growth by scleractinian corals in aragonite-calcite seas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomihiko Higuchi

    Full Text Available Modern scleractinian coral skeletons are commonly composed of aragonite, the orthorhombic form of CaCO3. Under certain conditions, modern corals produce calcite as a secondary precipitate to fill pore space. However, coral construction of primary skeletons from calcite has yet to be demonstrated. We report a calcitic primary skeleton produced by the modern scleractinian coral Acropora tenuis. When uncalcified juveniles were incubated from the larval stage in seawater with low mMg/Ca levels, the juveniles constructed calcitic crystals in parts of the primary skeleton such as the septa; the deposits were observable under Raman microscopy. Using scanning electron microscopy, we observed different crystal morphologies of aragonite and calcite in a single juvenile skeleton. Quantitative analysis using X-ray diffraction showed that the majority of the skeleton was composed of aragonite even though we had exposed the juveniles to manipulated seawater before their initial crystal nucleation and growth processes. Our results indicate that the modern scleractinian coral Acropora mainly produces aragonite skeletons in both aragonite and calcite seas, but also has the ability to use calcite for part of its skeletal growth when incubated in calcite seas.

  17. Fungal invasion of massive corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Raghukumar, S.

    Five species of corals from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal (Indian Ocean) have been regularly found to have single or multiple necrotic patches. The occurrence of such corals with necrotic patches varied from 10-50% in the field. Sections...

  18. Early transcriptional changes in the reef-building coral Acropora aspera in response to thermal and nutrient stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosic, Nedeljka; Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Edwards, David; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2014-12-02

    Changes to the environment as a result of human activities can result in a range of impacts on reef building corals that include coral bleaching (reduced concentrations of algal symbionts), decreased coral growth and calcification, and increased incidence of diseases and mortality. Understanding how elevated temperatures and nutrient concentration affect early transcriptional changes in corals and their algal endosymbionts is critically important for evaluating the responses of coral reefs to global changes happening in the environment. Here, we investigated the expression of genes in colonies of the reef-building coral Acropora aspera exposed to short-term sub-lethal levels of thermal (+6°C) and nutrient stress (ammonium-enrichment: 20 μM). The RNA-Seq data provided hundreds of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) corresponding to various stress regimes, with 115 up- and 78 down-regulated genes common to all stress regimes. A list of DEGs included up-regulated coral genes like cytochrome c oxidase and NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase and up-regulated photosynthetic genes of algal origin, whereas coral GFP-like fluorescent chromoprotein and sodium/potassium-transporting ATPase showed reduced transcript levels. Taxonomic analyses of the coral holobiont disclosed the dominant presence of transcripts from coral (~70%) and Symbiodinium (~10-12%), as well as ~15-20% of unknown sequences which lacked sequence identity to known genes. Gene ontology analyses revealed enriched pathways, which led to changes in the dynamics of protein networks affecting growth, cellular processes, and energy requirement. In corals with preserved symbiont physiological performance (based on Fv/Fm, photo-pigment and symbiont density), transcriptomic changes and DEGs provided important insight into early stages of the stress response in the coral holobiont. Although there were no signs of coral bleaching after exposure to short-term thermal and nutrient stress conditions, we managed to detect

  19. BOLTS: a BiOphysical Larval Tracking System for Measuring Dispersal Characteristics and Marine Population Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paris, C. B.; Srinivasan, A.; Kourafalou, V.; Sponaugle, S.; Cowen, R. K.

    2008-12-01

    While metapopulation research with hypothetical dispersal matrices has shown how the scales of larval dispersal, transport processes, local recruitment, and temporal and spatial variability in dispersal influence population persistence, the pattern of demographic connectivity produced by larval dispersal is still a key uncertainty. To address this problem, a coupled bio-physical model has been developed that quantifies the degree of connectivity between populations. Such spatially explicit models, forced by dynamic currents coupled to a realistic seascape and life history traits, produce dispersal kernels for a range of scales over which dispersal is practically unquantifiable by current empirical methods. The BiOphysical Larval Tracking System (BOLTS) presented here allows a Lagrangian stochastic individual-based model (IBM) to be coupled via OPENDAP framework to any 3-dimensional fields of circulation models including to domains of various resolutions through 'Lagrangian nesting'. We demonstrate the capabilities of the software in measuring the characteristics of dispersal and evaluating the variability of larval connectivity through two examples at different scales: 1) Caribbean-scale simulations of BOLTS using the large scale (resolution ~7 km) Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) from the Global Data Assimilative Experiment (GODAE) provide us with expected connectivity patterns of a reef building coral. By seeding the model with a large number of active particles, it is possible to assemble dispersal kernels and migration matrices from the start (spawning) and the end point (settlement) of individual particle trajectories. Any single run is a stochastic realization of a probabilistic process, thus the full probability density function (pdf) of the kernel requires averaging over many dispersal events. The model output is further corroborated with empirical measures of gene flow among coral colonies around the Caribbean. 2) Coastal-scale simulations of BOLTS

  20. Connectivity dominates larval replenishment in a coastal reef fish metapopulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Jones, Geoffrey P; Thorrold, Simon R; Planes, Serge

    2011-10-07

    Direct estimates of larval retention and connectivity are essential to understand the structure and dynamics of marine metapopulations, and optimize the size and spacing of reserves within networks of marine-protected areas (MPAs). For coral reef fishes, while there are some empirical estimates of self-recruitment at isolated populations, exchange among sub-populations has been rarely quantified. Here, we used microsatellite DNA markers and a likelihood-based parentage analysis to assess the relative magnitude of self-recruitment and exchange among eight geographically distinct sub-populations of the panda clownfish Amphiprion polymnus along 30 km of coastline near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In addition, we used an assignment/exclusion test to identify immigrants arriving from genetically distinct sources. Overall, 82 per cent of the juveniles were immigrants while 18 per cent were progeny of parents genotyped in our focal metapopulation. Of the immigrants, only 6 per cent were likely to be genetically distinct from the focal metapopulation, suggesting most of the connectivity is among sub-populations from a rather homogeneous genetic pool. Of the 18 per cent that were progeny of known adults, two-thirds dispersed among the eight sub-populations and only one-third settled back into natal sub-populations. Comparison of our data with previous studies suggested that variation in dispersal distances is likely to be influenced by the geographical setting and spacing of sub-populations.

  1. Linking larval history to juvenile demography in the bicolor damselfish Stegastes partitus (Perciformes:Pomacentridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard S Nemeth

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Otolith-based reconstructions of daily larval growth increments were used to examine the effect of variation in larval growth on size and age at settlement and post-settlement growth,survival and habitat preferences of juvenile bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus Poey.During August 1992 and 1994,newly settled S. partitus were collected from Montastraea coral heads and Porites rubble piles in Tague Bay,St.Croix,U.S. Virgin Islands (17 °45 ’ N,64 °42 ’ W.Daily lapillar otolith increments from each fish were counted and measured with Optimas image analysis software.S.partitus pelagic larval duration was 23.7 d in 1992 (n =70and 24.6 d in 1994 (n =38and larval age at settlement averaged 13.0 mm total length both years.Analysis of daily otolith increments demonstrated that variation in larval growth rates and size and age at settlement had no detectable effect on post-settlement survivorship but that larger larvae showed a preference for Montastraea coral at settlement.Late larval and early juvenile growth rates showed a significant positive relationship indicating that growth patterns established during the planktonic stage can span metamorphosis and continue into the benthic juvenile phase.Larval growth rates during the first two weeks post-hatching also had a strong effect on age to developmental competence (ability to undergo metamorphosisin both 1992 and 1994 with the fastest growing larvae being 8 d younger and 0.8 mm smaller at settlement than the slowest growing larvae.These differential growth rates in early stage larvae established trajectories toward larval developmental competence and may prove important in biogeographical studies of larval dispersal.Reconstruyendo aumentos diarios de otolitos se compará la variación en crecimiento larval sobre el tamaño y la edad de asentamiento,y el crecimiento post-acentamiento, sobrevivencia y preferencia de hábitat,del pez damisela bicolor (Stegastes partitus Poeyjoven.En agosto de 1992

  2. Transcriptome and proteome dynamics in larvae of the barnacle Balanus Amphitrite from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli

    2015-12-15

    Background The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is widely distributed in marine shallow and tidal waters, and has significant economic and ecological importance. Nauplii, the first larval stage of most crustaceans, are extremely abundant in the marine zooplankton. However, a lack of genome information has hindered elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of development, settlement and survival strategies in extreme marine environments. We sequenced and constructed the genome dataset for nauplii to obtain comprehensive larval genetic information. We also investigated iTRAQ-based protein expression patterns to reveal the molecular basis of nauplii development, and to gain information on larval survival strategies in the Red Sea marine environment. Results A nauplii larval transcript dataset, containing 92,117 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), was constructed and used as a reference for the proteome analysis. Genes related to translation, oxidative phosphorylation and cytoskeletal development were highly abundant. We observed remarkable plasticity in the proteome of Red Sea larvae. The proteins associated with development, stress responses and osmoregulation showed the most significant differences between the two larval populations studied. The synergistic overexpression of heat shock and osmoregulatory proteins may facilitate larval survival in intertidal habitats or in extreme environments. Conclusions We presented, for the first time, comprehensive transcriptome and proteome datasets for Red Sea nauplii. The datasets provide a foundation for future investigations focused on the survival mechanisms of other crustaceans in extreme marine environments.

  3. Copper and thermal perturbations on the early life processes of the hard coral Platygyra acuta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, C. K.; Lam, K. Y.; Leung, S. M.; Chui, A. P. Y.; Ang, P. O.

    2016-09-01

    Anthropogenic pollutants and climate change are major threats to coral reefs today. Yet interactions between chemical and thermal perturbations have not been fully explored in reef studies. Here, we present the single and combined effects of copper (Cu) with thermal stress on five early life-history stages/processes (fertilization, larval mortality, swimming ability, metamorphosis and growth of juvenile recruits) of the massive coral Platygyra acuta in Hong Kong. In the first four experiments, coral gametes and larvae were exposed to different Cu doses (0-200 μg L-1, apart from the fertilization assay in which 0-1000 μg L-1 was used) and temperature treatments (ambient and ambient +2 or +3 °C as a thermal stress treatment) following a factorial experimental design. Exposure time was 5 h for the fertilization assay and 48 h for the other experiments. The last experiment on growth of coral recruits was conducted over 56 d with 0-80 μg L-1 Cu used. Cu significantly reduced percent fertilization success, percentage of active swimming larvae and larval survivorship (EC50s, the half maximal effective concentrations, for percent fertilization success and percentage of active swimming larvae were 92-145 and 45-47 μg L-1 respectively. While LC50, the lethal concentration that kills 50% of the population, was 101-110 μg L-1), while growth of coral recruits was not affected at 80 μg L-1 Cu for 56 d. No settling cues were used in the settlement experiment. In their absence, percent metamorphosis increased with Cu doses, in sharp contrast to earlier findings. Settlement and metamorphosis may thus be strategies for coral larvae to escape from Cu toxicity. Thermal treatment did not significantly affect any experimental end points. This is likely because the thermal regimes used in the experiments were within the range experienced by local corals. The high variability in Cu toxicities indicates differential susceptibilities of the various life-history stages/processes of P

  4. Evaluation of Stony Coral Indicators for Coral Reef ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonies of reef-building stony corals at 57 stations around St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands were characterized by species, size and percentage of living tissue. Taxonomic, biological and physical indicators of coral condition were derived from these measurements and assessed for their response to gradients of human disturbance. The purpose of the study was to identify indicators that could be used for regulatory assessments under authority of the Clean Water Act--this requires that indicators distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural variation. Stony coral indicators were tested for correlation with human disturbance across gradients located on three different sides of the island. At the most intensely disturbed location, five of eight primary indicators were highly correlated with distance from the source of disturbance: Coral taxa richness, average colony size, the coefficient of variation of colony size (an indicator of colony size heterogeneity), total topographic coral surface area, and live coral surface area. An additional set of exploratory indicators related to rarity, reproductive and spawning mode, and taxonomic identity were also screened for association with disturbance at the same location. For the other two locations, there were no significant changes in indicator values and therefore no discernible effects of human activity. Coral indicators demonstrated sufficient precision to detect levels of change that would be applicable in a regio

  5. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navas-Camacho, Raúl; Gil-Agudelo, Diego Luis; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Reyes-Nivia, María Catalina; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime

    2010-05-01

    Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC) has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá). The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10 x 2m) with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters) are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2), and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2). Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD), and White Plague Disease (WPD) were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A. grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years) variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few long

  6. Large-scale coral recruitment patterns on Mona Island, Puerto Rico: evidence of a transitional community trajectory after massive coral bleaching and mortality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs have largely declined across the northeastern Caribbean following the 2005 massive bleaching event. Climate change-related sea surface warming and coral disease outbreaks of a white plague-like syndrome and of yellow band disease (YBD have caused significant coral decline affecting massive reef building species (i.e., Orbicella annularis species complex which show no apparent signs of recovery through larval sexual recruitment. We addressed coral recruit densities across three spur and groove reef locations along the western shelf of remote Mona Island, Puerto Rico: Punta Capitán (PCA, Pasa de Las Carmelitas (PLC, and Las Carmelitas-South (LCS. Data were collected during November 2012 along 93 haphazard transects across three depth zones (<5m, 5-10m, 10-15m. A total of 32 coral species (9 octocorals, 1 hydrocoral, 22 scleractinians were documented among the recruit community. Communities had low densities and dominance by short-lived brooder species seven years after the 2005 event. Mean coral recruit density ranged from 1.2 to 10.5/m2 at PCA, 6.3 to 7.2/m² at LCS, 4.5 to 9.5/m² at PLC. Differences in coral recruit community structure can be attributed to slight variation in percent macroalgal cover and composition as study sites had nearly similar benthic spatial heterogeneity. Dominance by ephemeral coral species was widespread. Recovery of largely declining massive reef-building species such as the O. annularis species complex was limited or non-existent. The lack of recovery could be the combined result of several mechanisms involving climate change, YBD disease, macroalgae, fishing, urchins and Mona Island’s reefs limited connectivity to other reef systems. There is also for rehabilitation of fish trophic structure, with emphasis in recovering herbivore guilds and depleted populations of D. antillarum. Failing to recognize the importance of ecosystem-based management and resilience rehabilitation may deem remote coral reefs

  7. Transcriptomics in ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, Kristin; Fischer, Beat B; Madureira, Danielle J; Pillai, Smitha

    2010-06-01

    The emergence of analytical tools for high-throughput screening of biomolecules has revolutionized the way in which toxicologists explore the impact of chemicals or other stressors on organisms. One of the most developed and routinely applied high-throughput analysis approaches is transcriptomics, also often referred to as gene expression profiling. The transcriptome represents all RNA molecules, including the messenger RNA (mRNA), which constitutes the building blocks for translating DNA into amino acids to form proteins. The entirety of mRNA is a mirror of the genes that are actively expressed in a cell or an organism at a given time. This in turn allows one to deduce how organisms respond to changes in the external environment. In this article we explore how transcriptomics is currently applied in ecotoxicology and highlight challenges and trends.

  8. Behavioral ecology of larval dragonflies and damselflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, D M

    1991-01-01

    During the past decade, larval dragonflies and damselflies (Insecta: Odonata) have been the subjects for very productive ecological research. Descriptive field work, enclosure experiments and laboratory behavior studies have identified fish predation, intraguild predation (especially mutual predation among odonates, including cannibalism) and interference competition as particularly strong interactions influencing larval odonate assemblages. Behavioral differences among species suggest evolutionary adaptations for coexistence with different predators, and for winning intraspecific aggressive encounters.

  9. New perspectives on ecological mechanisms affecting coral recruitment on reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Arnold, S.N.; Fogarty, N.D.; Steneck, R.S.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Paul, V.J.

    2009-01-01

    Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful recruit

  10. New perspectives on ecological mechanisms affecting coral recruitment on reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Arnold, S.N.; Fogarty, N.D.; Steneck, R.S.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Paul, V.J.

    2009-01-01

    Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful

  11. Estimating diversity of Indo-Pacific coral reef stomatopods through DNA barcoding of stomatopod larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Paul; Boyce, Sarah L

    2006-08-22

    There is a push to fully document the biodiversity of the world within 25 years. However, the magnitude of this challenge, particularly in marine environments, is not well known. In this study, we apply DNA barcoding to explore the biodiversity of gonodactylid stomatopods (mantis shrimp) in both the Coral Triangle and the Red Sea. Comparison of sequences from 189 unknown stomatopod larvae to 327 known adults representing 67 taxa in the superfamily Gonodactyloidea revealed 22 distinct larval operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In the Western Pacific, 10 larval OTUs were members of the Gonodactylidae and Protosquillidae where success of positive identification was expected to be 96.5%. However, only five OTUs could be identified to species and at least three OTUs represent new species unknown in their adult form. In the Red Sea where the identification rate was expected to be 75% in the Gonodactylidae, none of four larval OTUs could be identified to species; at least two represent new species unknown in their adult forms. Results indicate that the biodiversity in this well-studied group in the Coral Triangle and Red Sea may be underestimated by a minimum of 50% to more than 150%, suggesting a much greater challenge in lesser-studied groups. Although the DNA barcoding methodology was effective, its overall success was limited due to the newly discovered taxonomic limitations of the reference sequence database, highlighting the importance of synergy between molecular geneticists and taxonomists in understanding and documenting our world's biodiversity, both in marine and terrestrial environments.

  12. Detecting larval export from marine reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelc, R A; Warner, R R; Gaines, S D; Paris, C B

    2010-10-26

    Marine reserve theory suggests that where large, productive populations are protected within no-take marine reserves, fished areas outside reserves will benefit through the spillover of larvae produced in the reserves. However, empirical evidence for larval export has been sparse. Here we use a simple idealized coastline model to estimate the expected magnitude and spatial scale of larval export from no-take marine reserves across a range of reserve sizes and larval dispersal scales. Results suggest that, given the magnitude of increased production typically found in marine reserves, benefits from larval export are nearly always large enough to offset increased mortality outside marine reserves due to displaced fishing effort. However, the proportional increase in recruitment at sites outside reserves is typically small, particularly for species with long-distance (on the order of hundreds of kilometers) larval dispersal distances, making it very difficult to detect in field studies. Enhanced recruitment due to export may be detected by sampling several sites at an appropriate range of distances from reserves or at sites downcurrent of reserves in systems with directional dispersal. A review of existing empirical evidence confirms the model's suggestion that detecting export may be difficult without an exceptionally large differential in production, short-distance larval dispersal relative to reserve size, directional dispersal, or a sampling scheme that encompasses a broad range of distances from the reserves.

  13. Assessing Coral Community Recovery from Coral Bleaching by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve and Reef Recovery. Abstract—In 2003 ... from sources of coral larvae from reefs in the south, and are seasonally influenced by nutrient-rich, cooler water due ..... Marine Pollution Bulletin. 42, 1264- ...

  14. Local stressors reduce coral resilience to bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carilli, Jessica E; Norris, Richard D; Black, Bryan A; Walsh, Sheila M; McField, Melanie

    2009-07-22

    Coral bleaching, during which corals lose their symbiotic dinoflagellates, typically corresponds with periods of intense heat stress, and appears to be increasing in frequency and geographic extent as the climate warms. A fundamental question in coral reef ecology is whether chronic local stress reduces coral resistance and resilience from episodic stress such as bleaching, or alternatively promotes acclimatization, potentially increasing resistance and resilience. Here we show that following a major bleaching event, Montastraea faveolata coral growth rates at sites with higher local anthropogenic stressors remained suppressed for at least 8 years, while coral growth rates at sites with lower stress recovered in 2-3 years. Instead of promoting acclimatization, our data indicate that background stress reduces coral fitness and resilience to episodic events. We also suggest that reducing chronic stress through local coral reef management efforts may increase coral resilience to global climate change.

  15. Effects of cold stress and heat stress on coral fluorescence in reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Melissa S; Deheyn, Dimitri D

    2013-01-01

    Widespread temperature stress has caused catastrophic coral bleaching events that have been devastating for coral reefs. Here, we evaluate whether coral fluorescence could be utilized as a noninvasive assessment for coral health. We conducted cold and heat stress treatments on the branching coral Acropora yongei, and found that green fluorescent protein (GFP) concentration and fluorescence decreased with declining coral health, prior to initiation of bleaching. Ultimately, cold-treated corals acclimated and GFP concentration and fluorescence recovered. In contrast, heat-treated corals eventually bleached but showed strong fluorescence despite reduced GFP concentration, likely resulting from the large reduction in shading from decreased dinoflagellate density. Consequently, GFP concentration and fluorescence showed distinct correlations in non-bleached and bleached corals. Green fluorescence was positively correlated with dinoflagellate photobiology, but its closest correlation was with coral growth suggesting that green fluorescence could be used as a physiological proxy for health in some corals.

  16. Fungi and their role in corals and coral reef ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Ravindran, J.

    to colourful, hard and soft corals, sponges, a diverse population of fishes, holothurians, calciferous algae and other myriad communities (Connell 1978). They support tourism, food production and coastal protection from natural hazards. Corals fall in two... in the French Polynesia (Golubic et al. 2005). Bak and Laane (1987) observed a dark mycelial fungus with perithecia, probably belonging to Ascomycetes in black bands of Porites species in the eastern part of the Indonesian Archipelago. Partial dissolution...

  17. Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon source oil and the chemical dispersant, Corexit® 9500, to coral larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley

    Full Text Available Acute catastrophic events can cause significant damage to marine environments in a short time period and may have devastating long-term impacts. In April 2010 the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon (DWH offshore oil rig exploded, releasing an estimated 760 million liters of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This study examines the potential effects of oil spill exposure on coral larvae of the Florida Keys. Larvae of the brooding coral, Porites astreoides, and the broadcast spawning coral, Montastraea faveolata, were exposed to multiple concentrations of BP Horizon source oil (crude, weathered and WAF, oil in combination with the dispersant Corexit® 9500 (CEWAF, and dispersant alone, and analyzed for behavior, settlement, and survival. Settlement and survival of P. astreoides and M. faveolata larvae decreased with increasing concentrations of WAF, CEWAF and Corexit® 9500, however the degree of the response varied by species and solution. P. astreoides larvae experienced decreased settlement and survival following exposure to 0.62 ppm source oil, while M. faveolata larvae were negatively impacted by 0.65, 1.34 and 1.5 ppm, suggesting that P. astreoides larvae may be more tolerant to WAF exposure than M. faveolata larvae. Exposure to medium and high concentrations of CEWAF (4.28/18.56 and 30.99/35.76 ppm and dispersant Corexit® 9500 (50 and 100 ppm, significantly decreased larval settlement and survival for both species. Furthermore, exposure to Corexit® 9500 resulted in settlement failure and complete larval mortality after exposure to 50 and 100 ppm for M. faveolata and 100 ppm for P. astreoides. These results indicate that exposure of coral larvae to oil spill related contaminants, particularly the dispersant Corexit® 9500, has the potential to negatively impact coral settlement and survival, thereby affecting the resilience and recovery of coral reefs following exposure to oil and dispersants.

  18. Anguillid herpesvirus 1 transcriptome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beurden, van S.J.; Gatherer, D.; Kerr, K.; Galbraith, J.; Herzyk, P.; Peeters, B.P.H.; Rottier, P.J.M.; Engelsma, M.Y.; Davidson, A.J.

    2012-01-01

    We used deep sequencing of poly(A) RNA to characterize the transcriptome of an economically important eel virus, anguillid herpesvirus 1 (AngHV1), at a stage during the lytic life cycle when infectious virus was being produced. In contrast to the transcription of mammalian herpesviruses, the overall

  19. Coral transplantation triggers shift in microbiome and promotion of coral disease associated potential pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Jordan M; Connolly, Sean R; Ainsworth, Tracy D

    2015-07-06

    By cultivating turf algae and aggressively defending their territories, territorial damselfishes in the genus Stegastes play a major role in shaping coral-algal dynamics on coral reefs. The epilithic algal matrix (EAM) inside Stegastes' territories is known to harbor high abundances of potential coral disease pathogens. To determine the impact of territorial grazers on coral microbial assemblages, we established a coral transplant inside and outside of Stegastes' territories. Over the course of one year, the percent mortality of transplanted corals was monitored and coral samples were collected for microbial analysis. As compared to outside damselfish territories, Stegastes were associated with a higher rate of mortality of transplanted corals. However, 16S rDNA sequencing revealed that territorial grazers do not differentially impact the microbial assemblage of corals exposed to the EAM. Regardless of Stegastes presence or absence, coral transplantation resulted in a shift in the coral-associated microbial community and an increase in coral disease associated potential pathogens. Further, transplanted corals that suffer low to high mortality undergo a microbial transition from a microbiome similar to that of healthy corals to that resembling the EAM. These findings demonstrate that coral transplantation significantly impacts coral microbial communities, and transplantation may increase susceptibility to coral disease.

  20. Metacommunity patterns in larval odonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Shannon J; Davis, Christopher J; Relyea, Rick A; Yurewicz, Kerry L; Skelly, David K; Werner, Earl E

    2008-11-01

    The growth of metacommunity ecology as a subdiscipline has increased interest in how processes at different spatial scales structure communities. However, there is still a significant knowledge gap with respect to relating the action of niche- and dispersal-assembly mechanisms to observed species distributions across gradients. Surveys of the larval dragonfly community (Odonata: Anisoptera) in 57 lakes and ponds in southeast Michigan were used to evaluate hypotheses about the processes regulating community structure in this system. We considered the roles of both niche- and dispersal-assembly processes in determining patterns of species richness and composition across a habitat gradient involving changes in the extent of habitat permanence, canopy cover, area, and top predator type. We compared observed richness patterns and species distributions in this system to patterns predicted by four general community models: species sorting related to adaptive trade-offs, a developmental constraints hypothesis, dispersal assembly, and a neutral community assemblage. Our results supported neither the developmental constraints nor the neutral-assemblage models. Observed patterns of richness and species distributions were consistent with patterns expected when adaptive tradeoffs and dispersal-assembly mechanisms affect community structure. Adaptive trade-offs appeared to be important in limiting the distributions of species which segregate across the habitat gradient. However, dispersal was important in shaping the distributions of species that utilize habitats with a broad range of hydroperiods and alternative top predator types. Our results also suggest that the relative importance of these mechanisms may change across this habitat gradient and that a metacommunity perspective which incorporates both niche- and dispersal-assembly processes is necessary to understand how communities are organized.

  1. Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the “preferred” CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator. PMID:20169452

  2. Precious Coral Logbook Data Set

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a federally mandated logbook program for harvesting precious coral, and it is required to be mailed in to PIFSC after a fishing trip. Data is from 1999-2000....

  3. Coral bleaching: the role of the host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Andrew H; Bhagooli, Ranjeet; Ralph, Peter J; Takahashi, Shunichi

    2009-01-01

    Coral bleaching caused by global warming is one of the major threats to coral reefs. Very recently, research has focused on the possibility of corals switching symbionts as a means of adjusting to accelerating increases in sea surface temperature. Although symbionts are clearly of fundamental importance, many aspects of coral bleaching cannot be readily explained by differences in symbionts among coral species. Here we outline several potential mechanisms by which the host might influence the bleaching response, and conclude that predicting the fate of corals in response to climate change requires both members of the symbiosis to be considered equally.

  4. Coral Sr-U Thermometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, T. M.; Gaetani, G. A.; Cohen, A. L.; Foster, G. L.; Alpert, A.; Stewart, J.

    2016-12-01

    Coral skeletons archive the past two millennia of climate variability in the oceans with unrivaled temporal resolution. However, extracting accurate temperature information from coral skeletons is confounded by "vital effects", which often override the temperature dependence of geochemical proxies. Here, we present a new approach to coral paleothermometry based on results of abiogenic precipitation experiments interpreted within a framework provided by a quantitative model of the coral biomineralization process. We conducted laboratory experiments to test the temperature and carbonate chemistry controls on abiogenic partitioning of Sr/Ca and U/Ca between aragonite and seawater, and we modeled the sensitivity of skeletal composition to processes occurring at the site of calcification. The model predicts that temperature can be accurately reconstructed from coral skeleton by combining Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios into a new proxy, Sr-U. We tested the model predictions with measured Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios of fourteen Porites sp. corals collected from the tropical Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea, with a subset also analyzed using the boron isotope (δ11B) pH proxy. Observed relationships among Sr/Ca, U/Ca, and δ11B agree with model predictions, indicating that the model accounts for the key features of the coral biomineralization process. We calibrated Sr-U to instrumental temperature records and found that it captures 93% of mean annual variability (26-30 °C) and predicts temperature within 0.5 °C (1 σ). Conversely, Sr/Ca alone has an error of prediction of 1 °C and often diverges from observed temperature by 3 °C or more. Many of the problems afflicting Sr/Ca - including offsets among neighboring corals and decouplings from temperature during coral stress events - are reconciled by Sr-U. By accounting for the influence of the coral biomineralization process, the Sr-U thermometer may offer significantly improved reliability for reconstructing ocean temperatures from coral

  5. Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2013-01-01

    Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future.

  6. Natural disease resistance in threatened staghorn corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, Steven V; Kline, David I

    2008-01-01

    Disease epidemics have caused extensive damage to tropical coral reefs and to the reef-building corals themselves, yet nothing is known about the abilities of the coral host to resist disease infection. Understanding the potential for natural disease resistance in corals is critically important, especially in the Caribbean where the two ecologically dominant shallow-water corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have suffered an unprecedented mass die-off due to White Band Disease (WBD), and are now listed as threatened under the US Threatened Species Act and as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List criteria. Here we examine the potential for natural resistance to WBD in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis by combining microsatellite genotype information with in situ transmission assays and field monitoring of WBD on tagged genotypes. We show that six percent of staghorn coral genotypes (3 out of 49) are resistant to WBD. This natural resistance to WBD in staghorn corals represents the first evidence of host disease resistance in scleractinian corals and demonstrates that staghorn corals have an innate ability to resist WBD infection. These resistant staghorn coral genotypes may explain why pockets of Acropora have been able to survive the WBD epidemic. Understanding disease resistance in these corals may be the critical link to restoring populations of these once dominant corals throughout their range.

  7. Natural disease resistance in threatened staghorn corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven V Vollmer

    Full Text Available Disease epidemics have caused extensive damage to tropical coral reefs and to the reef-building corals themselves, yet nothing is known about the abilities of the coral host to resist disease infection. Understanding the potential for natural disease resistance in corals is critically important, especially in the Caribbean where the two ecologically dominant shallow-water corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have suffered an unprecedented mass die-off due to White Band Disease (WBD, and are now listed as threatened under the US Threatened Species Act and as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List criteria. Here we examine the potential for natural resistance to WBD in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis by combining microsatellite genotype information with in situ transmission assays and field monitoring of WBD on tagged genotypes. We show that six percent of staghorn coral genotypes (3 out of 49 are resistant to WBD. This natural resistance to WBD in staghorn corals represents the first evidence of host disease resistance in scleractinian corals and demonstrates that staghorn corals have an innate ability to resist WBD infection. These resistant staghorn coral genotypes may explain why pockets of Acropora have been able to survive the WBD epidemic. Understanding disease resistance in these corals may be the critical link to restoring populations of these once dominant corals throughout their range.

  8. Mechanisms for eco-immunity in a changing enviroment: how does the coral innate immune system contend with climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, N. G.

    2016-02-01

    Innate immunity plays a central role in maintaining homeostasis, and within the context of impending climate change scenarios, understanding how this system works is critical. However, the actual mechanisms involved in the evolution of the innate immune system are largely unknown. Cnidaria (including corals, sea anemones and jellyfish) are well suited for studying the fundamental functions of innate immunity because they share a common ancestor with bilaterians. This study will highlight the transcriptomic changes during a heat shock in the coral Acropora hyacinthus of American Samoa, examining the temporal changes, every half an hour for 5 hours. We hypothesize that genes involved in innate immunity, and extracellular matrix maintenance will be key components to the heat stress response. This presentation will highlight the novel role of the tumor necrosis factor receptor gene family as a responder to heat stress and present future directions for this developing field in coral reef research.

  9. Coral calcification and ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokiel, Paul L.; Jury, Christopher P.; Kuffner, Ilsa B.

    2016-01-01

    Over 60 years ago, the discovery that light increased calcification in the coral plant-animal symbiosis triggered interest in explaining the phenomenon and understanding the mechanisms involved. Major findings along the way include the observation that carbon fixed by photosynthesis in the zooxanthellae is translocated to animal cells throughout the colony and that corals can therefore live as autotrophs in many situations. Recent research has focused on explaining the observed reduction in calcification rate with increasing ocean acidification (OA). Experiments have shown a direct correlation between declining ocean pH, declining aragonite saturation state (Ωarag), declining [CO32_] and coral calcification. Nearly all previous reports on OA identify Ωarag or its surrogate [CO32] as the factor driving coral calcification. However, the alternate “Proton Flux Hypothesis” stated that coral calcification is controlled by diffusion limitation of net H+ transport through the boundary layer in relation to availability of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The “Two Compartment Proton Flux Model” expanded this explanation and synthesized diverse observations into a universal model that explains many paradoxes of coral metabolism, morphology and plasticity of growth form in addition to observed coral skeletal growth response to OA. It is now clear that irradiance is the main driver of net photosynthesis (Pnet), which in turn drives net calcification (Gnet), and alters pH in the bulk water surrounding the coral. Pnet controls [CO32] and thus Ωarag of the bulk water over the diel cycle. Changes in Ωarag and pH lag behind Gnet throughout the daily cycle by two or more hours. The flux rate Pnet, rather than concentration-based parameters (e.g., Ωarag, [CO3 2], pH and [DIC]:[H+] ratio) is the primary driver of Gnet. Daytime coral metabolism rapidly removes DIC from the bulk seawater. Photosynthesis increases the bulk seawater pH while providing the energy that drives

  10. Vibrio Zinc-Metalloprotease Causes Photoinactivation of Coral Endosymbionts and Coral Tissue Lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sussman, Meir; Mieog, Jos C.; Doyle, Jason; Victor, Steven; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Coral diseases are emerging as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide. Of nine coral infectious diseases, whose pathogens have been characterized, six are caused by agents from the family Vibrionacae, raising questions as to their origin and role in coral disease aetiology.

  11. THE CONDITION OF CORAL REEFS IN SOUTH FLORIDA (2000) USING CORAL DISEASE AND BLEACHING AS INDICATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The destruction for coral reef habitats is occurring at unprecedented levels. Coral disease epizootics in the Southwestern Atlantic have lead to coral replacement by turf algae, prompting a call to classify some coral species as endangered. In addition, a massive bleaching event ...

  12. THE CONDITION OF CORAL REEFS IN SOUTH FLORIDA (2000) USING CORAL DISEASE AND BLEACHING AS INDICATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The destruction for coral reef habitats is occurring at unprecedented levels. Coral disease epizootics in the Southwestern Atlantic have lead to coral replacement by turf algae, prompting a call to classify some coral species as endangered. In addition, a massive bleaching event ...

  13. Vibrio Zinc-Metalloprotease Causes Photoinactivation of Coral Endosymbionts and Coral Tissue Lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sussman, Meir; Mieog, Jos C.; Doyle, Jason; Victor, Steven; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Coral diseases are emerging as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide. Of nine coral infectious diseases, whose pathogens have been characterized, six are caused by agents from the family Vibrionacae, raising questions as to their origin and role in coral disease aetiology. Methodolog

  14. Validation of microsatellite multiplexes for parentage analysis in a coral reef fish (Lutjanus carponotatus, Lutjanidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Harrison, Hugo B.

    2014-05-25

    Parentage analysis is an important tool for identifying connectivity patterns in coral reef fishes, but often requires numerous highly polymorphic markers. We isolated 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers from the stripey snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus and describe their integration into three multiplex PCRs. All markers were highly polymorphic with a mean of 24.9 ± 1.8 SE alleles per locus and an average observed heterozygosity of 0.797 ± 0.038 SE across 285 genotyped individuals. Using a simulated dataset, we conclude that the complete marker set provides sufficient resolution to resolve parent–offspring relationships in natural populations with 99.6 ± 0.1 % accuracy in parentage assignments. This multiplex assay provides an effective means of investigating larval dispersal and population connectivity in this fishery-targeted coral reef fish species and informing the design of marine protected area networks for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management.

  15. DNA barcoding as a tool for coral reef conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neigel, J.; Domingo, A.; Stake, J.

    2007-09-01

    DNA Barcoding (DBC) is a method for taxonomic identification of animals that is based entirely on the 5' portion of the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase subunit I ( COI-5). It can be especially useful for identification of larval forms or incomplete specimens lacking diagnostic morphological characters. DBC can also facilitate the discovery of species and in defining “molecular taxonomic units” in problematic groups. However, DBC is not a panacea for coral reef taxonomy. In two of the most ecologically important groups on coral reefs, the Anthozoa and Porifera, COI-5 sequences have diverged too little to be diagnostic for all species. Other problems for DBC include paraphyly in mitochondrial gene trees and lack of differentiation between hybrids and their maternal ancestors. DBC also depends on the availability of databases of COI-5 sequences, which are still in early stages of development. A global effort to barcode all fish species has demonstrated the importance of large-scale coordination and is yielding promising results. Whether or not COI-5 by itself is sufficient for species assignments has become a contentious question; it is generally advantageous to use sequences from multiple loci.

  16. Evidence for multiple phototransduction pathways in a reef-building coral.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Mason

    Full Text Available 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 to distinct regions of coral planulae. Acropsin 1 was localized in the larval endoderm, while acropsin 2 was localized in solitary cells of the ectoderm. These rod-like cells displayed a remarkably polarized distribution, concentrated in the aboral end. We also cloned four A. palmata G protein alpha subunits. Three were homologs of vertebrate Gi, Go, and Gq. The fourth is presumably a novel G protein, which displays only 40% identity with the nearest known G protein, and we termed it Gc for "cnidarian". We show that Gc and Gq can be activated by acropsins in a light-dependent manner in vitro. This indicates that at least acropsins 1 and 3 can form functional photoreceptors and potentially may play a role in color preference during settlement, vertical positioning and other light-guided behaviors observed in coral larvae.

  17. Evidence for multiple phototransduction pathways in a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Benjamin; Schmale, Michael; Gibbs, Patrick; Miller, Margaret W; Wang, Qiang; Levay, Konstantin; Shestopalov, Valery; Slepak, Vladlen Z

    2012-01-01

    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 to distinct regions of coral planulae. Acropsin 1 was localized in the larval endoderm, while acropsin 2 was localized in solitary cells of the ectoderm. These rod-like cells displayed a remarkably polarized distribution, concentrated in the aboral end. We also cloned four A. palmata G protein alpha subunits. Three were homologs of vertebrate Gi, Go, and Gq. The fourth is presumably a novel G protein, which displays only 40% identity with the nearest known G protein, and we termed it Gc for "cnidarian". We show that Gc and Gq can be activated by acropsins in a light-dependent manner in vitro. This indicates that at least acropsins 1 and 3 can form functional photoreceptors and potentially may play a role in color preference during settlement, vertical positioning and other light-guided behaviors observed in coral larvae.

  18. Anopheline larval habitats seasonality and species distribution: a prerequisite for effective targeted larval habitats control programmes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliningaya J Kweka

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Larval control is of paramount importance in the reduction of malaria vector abundance and subsequent disease transmission reduction. Understanding larval habitat succession and its ecology in different land use managements and cropping systems can give an insight for effective larval source management practices. This study investigated larval habitat succession and ecological parameters which influence larval abundance in malaria epidemic prone areas of western Kenya. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A total of 51 aquatic habitats positive for anopheline larvae were surveyed and visited once a week for a period of 85 weeks in succession. Habitats were selected and identified. Mosquito larval species, physico-chemical parameters, habitat size, grass cover, crop cycle and distance to nearest house were recorded. Polymerase chain reaction revealed that An. gambiae s.l was the most dominant vector species comprised of An.gambiae s.s (77.60% and An.arabiensis (18.34%, the remaining 4.06% had no amplification by polymerase chain reaction. Physico-chemical parameters and habitat size significantly influenced abundance of An. gambiae s.s (P = 0.024 and An. arabiensis (P = 0.002 larvae. Further, larval species abundance was influenced by crop cycle (P≤0.001, grass cover (P≤0.001, while distance to nearest houses significantly influenced the abundance of mosquito species larvae (r = 0.920;P≤0.001. The number of predator species influenced mosquito larval abundance in different habitat types. Crop weeding significantly influenced with the abundance of An.gambiae s.l (P≤0.001 when preceded with fertilizer application. Significantly higher anopheline larval abundance was recorded in habitats in pasture compared to farmland (P = 0.002. When habitat stability and habitat types were considered, hoof print were the most productive followed by disused goldmines. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that implementation of effective larval

  19. Chemical constituents of soft coral Sarcophyton infundibuliforme from the South China Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Chang Yun

    2011-08-01

    Chemical investigation on soft coral Sarcophyton infundibuliforme collected from the South China Sea led to the isolation and identification of 14 secondary metabolites, including ten cembrene diterpenoids (1-10), one α-tocopheryl quinone derivative (11), one prostaglandin (12), one lipid (13) and one carotinoid (14). Their structures were determined by extensive analysis of their spectroscopic data. All of these metabolites were isolated from this species for the first time. Diterpenoids 1, 2, 7 and 10 showed potent antifouling activity against the larval settlement of barnacle Balanus amphitrite. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Coral Reef Watch, Hotspots, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch provides Coral Bleaching hotspot maps derived from NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). This data provides global area...

  1. Coral Reef Ecosystems Monitoring Feature Service

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring feature service hosted on ArcGIS Online provides access to data collected in the Mariana Archipelago by the Coral Reef Ecosystem...

  2. AFSC/ABL: Coldwater coral growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Colonies of the gorgonian coral Calcigorgia spiculifera were tagged at three sites in Southeast Alaska, Little Port Walter, Tenakee Inlet, and Kelp Bay. The corals...

  3. Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) and staghorn coral (A. cervicornis) as designated by 73 FR 72210, November 26, 2008,...

  4. Fisheries management: what chance on coral reefs?

    OpenAIRE

    1996-01-01

    Failures of fishery management to control fishing effort globally and how this affects the coral reef fisheries are discussed. The use of marine reserves in coral reef fisheries management is also emphasized.

  5. LEGACY - EOP Temperature data for deep corals

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Thermographs were deployed opportunistically in patches of deep coral at depths greater than 300 m. Sites included the Makapuu precious coral bed, the Cross Seamount...

  6. Preconditioning in the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis and the potential for trans-generational acclimatization in coral larvae under future climate change conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, Hollie M; Gates, Ruth D

    2015-08-01

    Coral reefs are globally threatened by climate change-related ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA). To date, slow-response mechanisms such as genetic adaptation have been considered the major determinant of coral reef persistence, with little consideration of rapid-response acclimatization mechanisms. These rapid mechanisms such as parental effects that can contribute to trans-generational acclimatization (e.g. epigenetics) have, however, been identified as important contributors to offspring response in other systems. We present the first evidence of parental effects in a cross-generational exposure to temperature and OA in reef-building corals. Here, we exposed adults to high (28.9°C, 805 µatm P(CO2)) or ambient (26.5°C, 417 µatm P(CO2)) temperature and OA treatments during the larval brooding period. Exposure to high treatment negatively affected adult performance, but their larvae exhibited size differences and metabolic acclimation when subsequently re-exposed, unlike larvae from parents exposed to ambient conditions. Understanding the innate capacity corals possess to respond to current and future climatic conditions is essential to reef protection and maintenance. Our results identify that parental effects may have an important role through (1) ameliorating the effects of stress through preconditioning and adaptive plasticity, and/or (2) amplifying the negative parental response through latent effects on future life stages. Whether the consequences of parental effects and the potential for trans-generational acclimatization are beneficial or maladaptive, our work identifies a critical need to expand currently proposed climate change outcomes for corals to further assess rapid response mechanisms that include non-genetic inheritance through parental contributions and classical epigenetic mechanisms. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Self-recruitment in a coral reef fish population in a marine reserve

    KAUST Repository

    Herrera Sarrias, Marcela

    2014-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) have proliferated in the past decades to protect biodiversity and sustain fisheries. However, most of the MPA networks have been designed without taking into account a critical factor: the larval dispersal patterns of populations within and outside the reserves. The scale and predictability of larval dispersal, however, remain unknown due to the difficulty of measuring dispersal when larvae are minute (~ cm) compared to the potential scale of dispersal (~ km). Nevertheless, genetic approaches can now be used to make estimates of larval dispersal. The following thesis describes self-recruitment and connectivity patterns of a coral reef fish species (Centropyge bicolor) in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. To do this, microsatellite markers were developed to evaluate fine-scale genetics and recruit assignment via genetic parentage analysis. In this method, offspring are assigned to potential parents, so that larval dispersal distances can then be inferred for each individual larvae. From a total of 255 adults and 426 juveniles collected only 2 parentoffspring pairs were assigned, representing less than 1% self-recruitment. Previous data from the same study system showed that both Chaetodon vagagundus and Amphiprion percula have consistent high self-recuitment rates (~ 60%), despite having contrasting life history traits. Since C. bicolor and C. vagabundus have similar characteristics (e.g. reproductive mode, pelagic larval duration), comparable results were expected. On the contrary, the results of this study showed that dispersal patterns cannot be generalized across species. Hence the importance of studying different species and seascapes to better understand the patterns of larval dispersal. This, in turn, will be essential to improve the design and implementation of MPAs as conservation and management tools.

  8. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá. The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10x2m with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2, and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2. Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD, and White Plague Disease (WPD were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A.grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few

  9. Rehydration of forensically important larval Diptera specimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanford, Michelle R; Pechal, Jennifer L; Tomberlin, Jeffery K

    2011-01-01

    Established procedures for collecting and preserving evidence are essential for all forensic disciplines to be accepted in court and by the forensic community at large. Entomological evidence, such as Diptera larvae, are primarily preserved in ethanol, which can evaporate over time, resulting in the dehydration of specimens. In this study, methods used for rehydrating specimens were compared. The changes in larval specimens with respect to larval length and weight for three forensically important blow fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae) species in North America were quantified. Phormia regina (Meigen), Cochliomyia macellaria (F.), and Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) third-instar larvae were collected from various decomposing animals and preserved with three preservation methods (80% ethanol, 70% isopropyl alcohol, and hot-water kill then 80% ethanol). Preservative solutions were allowed to evaporate. Rehydration was attempted with either of the following: 80% ethanol, commercial trisodium phosphate substitute solution, or 0.5% trisodium phosphate solution. All three methods partially restored weight and length of specimens recorded before preservation. Analysis of variance results indicated that effects of preservation, rehydration treatment, and collection animal were different in each species. The interaction between preservative method and rehydration treatment had a significant effect on both P. regina and C. macellaria larval length and weight. In addition, there was a significant interaction effect of collection animal on larval C. macellaria measurements. No significant effect was observed in C. rufifacies larval length or weight among the preservatives or treatments. These methods could be used to establish a standard operating procedure for dealing with dehydrated larval specimens in forensic investigations.

  10. RNA-seq of Rice Yellow Stem Borer Scirpophaga incertulas Reveals Molecular Insights During Four Larval Developmental Stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pichili Renuka

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The yellow stem borer (YSB, Scirpophaga incertulas, is a prominent pest in rice cultivation causing serious yield losses. The larval stage is an important stage in YSB, responsible for maximum infestation. However, limited knowledge exists on the biology and mechanisms underlying the growth and differentiation of YSB. To understand and identify the genes involved in YSB development and infestation, so as to design pest control strategies, we performed de novo transcriptome analysis at the first, third, fifth, and seventh larval developmental stages employing Illumina Hi-seq. High-quality reads (HQR of ∼229 Mb were assembled into 24,775 transcripts with an average size of 1485 bp. Genes associated with various metabolic processes, i.e., detoxification mechanism [CYP450, GSTs, and carboxylesterases (CarEs], RNA interference (RNAi machinery (Dcr-1, Dcr-2, Ago-1, Ago-2, Sid-1, Sid-2, Sid-3, and Sid-1-related gene, chemoreception (CSPs, GRs, OBPs, and ORs, and regulators [transcription factors (TFs and hormones] were differentially regulated during the developmental stages. Identification of stage-specific transcripts made it possible to determine the essential processes of larval development. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed that YSB has not evolved much with respect to the detoxification mechanism, but showed the presence of distinct RNAi machinery. The presence of strong specific visual recognition coupled with chemosensory mechanisms supports the monophagous nature of YSB. Designed expressed sequenced tags-simple-sequence repeats (EST-SSRs will facilitate accurate estimation of the genetic diversity of YSB. This is the first report on characterization of the YSB transcriptome and the identification of genes involved in key processes, which will help researchers and industry to devise novel pest control strategies. This study also opens up a new avenue to develop next-generation resistant rice using RNAi or genome editing approaches.

  11. Transcriptomics using axolotls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, S Randal; Athippozhy, Antony; Woodcock, M Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Microarray and RNA-sequencing technology now exists for the characterization of the Ambystoma mexicanum transcriptome. With sufficient replication, these tools give the opportunity to truly investigate gene expression in a variety of experimental paradigms. Analysis of data from the Amby002 array and RNA-sequencing technology can identify genes that change expression levels in concert with each other, which in turn may reveal mechanisms associated with biological processes and molecular functions.

  12. Not finding Nemo: limited reef-scale retention in a coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Nanninga, Gerrit B.

    2015-02-03

    The spatial scale of larval dispersal is a key predictor of marine metapopulation dynamics and an important factor in the design of reserve networks. Over the past 15 yr, studies of larval dispersal in coral reef fishes have generated accumulating evidence of consistently high levels of self-recruitment and local retention at various spatial scales. These findings have, to a certain degree, created a paradigm shift toward the perception that large fractions of locally produced recruitment may be the rule rather than the exception. Here we examined the degree of localized settlement in an anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, at a solitary coral reef in the central Red Sea by integrating estimates of self-recruitment obtained from genetic parentage analysis with predictions of local retention derived from a biophysical dispersal model parameterized with real-time physical forcing. Self-recruitment at the reef scale (c. 0.7 km2) was virtually absent during two consecutive January spawning events (1.4 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). Predicted levels of local retention at the reef scale varied temporally, but were comparatively low for both simulations (7 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). At the same time, the spatial scale of simulated dispersal was restricted to approximately 20 km from the source. Model predictions of reef-scale larval retention were highly dependent on biological parameters, underlining the need for further empirical validations of larval traits over a range of species. Overall, our findings present an urgent caution when assuming the potential for self-replenishment in small marine reserves.

  13. Not finding Nemo: limited reef-scale retention in a coral reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanninga, G. B.; Saenz-Agudelo, P.; Zhan, P.; Hoteit, I.; Berumen, M. L.

    2015-06-01

    The spatial scale of larval dispersal is a key predictor of marine metapopulation dynamics and an important factor in the design of reserve networks. Over the past 15 yr, studies of larval dispersal in coral reef fishes have generated accumulating evidence of consistently high levels of self-recruitment and local retention at various spatial scales. These findings have, to a certain degree, created a paradigm shift toward the perception that large fractions of locally produced recruitment may be the rule rather than the exception. Here we examined the degree of localized settlement in an anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, at a solitary coral reef in the central Red Sea by integrating estimates of self-recruitment obtained from genetic parentage analysis with predictions of local retention derived from a biophysical dispersal model parameterized with real-time physical forcing. Self-recruitment at the reef scale (c. 0.7 km2) was virtually absent during two consecutive January spawning events (1.4 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). Predicted levels of local retention at the reef scale varied temporally, but were comparatively low for both simulations (7 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). At the same time, the spatial scale of simulated dispersal was restricted to approximately 20 km from the source. Model predictions of reef-scale larval retention were highly dependent on biological parameters, underlining the need for further empirical validations of larval traits over a range of species. Overall, our findings present an urgent caution when assuming the potential for self-replenishment in small marine reserves.

  14. Tolerance to Elevated Temperature and Ocean Acidification of the Larvae of the Solitary Corals Fungia fungites (Linnaues, 1758) and Lithophyllon repanda (Dana, 1846).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baria, Maria Vanessa B; Kurihara, Haruko; Harii, Saki

    2015-10-01

    Increase in atmospheric CO₂is the main driver of global climate change and is projected to elevate sea surface temperature by at least 2°C and to decrease oceanic pH by 0.3 to 0.4 units by the end of the century. These factors seriously threaten coral reef ecosystems worldwide. In Okinawa, solitary corals are an important feature of the coral community structure. While previous studies on the effects of ocean warming (OW), ocean acidification (OA) and its combination on larval survival focused on colonial coral species, the present study assessed the effect of high temperature on larvae from solitary corals. In this study, we examined the influence of OW (control = 28°C; control +3 = 31°C; control + 6 = 34°C) and OA (control, pCO₂= 400 to 500 μatm; medium, pCO₂= 1000 to 1300 μatm; high, pCO₂= 1700 to 2200 μatm) on the larval survival of two solitary corals, Fungia fungites and Lithophyllon repanda for eight days. Results showed that F. fungites was neither affected by OW, OA, nor its combination. Similarly, survival of L. repanda was not affected by OA however it was significantly affected by temperature. Temperature tolerance varies between species; L. repanda (+3°C above ambient) has lower tolerance than F. fungites (+6°C above ambient). This observation suggests that fungiid larvae had higher tolerance to elevated temperature stress relative to other scleractinian corals. With the projected increase in OW and OA in the future, fungiidsmay retain good potential to widely disperse and successfully recruit to natal and other neighbouring reefs.

  15. Ocean circulation drives heterogeneous recruitments and connectivity among coral populations on the North West Shelf of Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ming; Colberg, Frank; Slawinski, Dirk; Berry, Oliver; Babcock, Russ

    2016-12-01

    The North West Shelf (NWS) of Australia features extensive and globally significant fringing coral reef ecosystems with high levels of endemism and consequently has received significant conservation efforts in the form of Marine Parks. The shelf circulation on the NWS is dominated by the southwestward-flowing Holloway Current during austral autumn-winter and by the northeastward monsoonal currents during austral summer. Intraseasonal Oscillation and short-term wind variability also influence advection processes on the NWS. These circulation processes are likely to determine demographic inter-dependencies among reef systems in the region, but the extent and spatial variability of the inter-dependence are not well understood. In this study, we used a 3-dimensional, hydrostatic, primitive equations model, to simulate the shelf circulation on the NWS at 1 km horizontal resolution during 2004-2009. We then used a particle tracking model based on the shelf circulation model to simulate larval dispersal in a representative coral species, Acropora millepora, among the 3430 coral reefs on the NWS during its autumn mass spawning. Model results predicted that settling larvae typically reach suitable reef within 10 days of spawning, with a predominantly southwestward tendency of transport. There was significant spatial heterogeneity in larval settlements and the Dampier Archipelago areas seemed to be more isolated from the rest of the NWS. Year-to-year variations of larval dispersals were sensitive to the seasonal and intraseasonal variations of alongshore winds: mass spawning in late March would expose the Dampier Archipelago area to the Holloway Current onset, resulting in it being an occasional source region of larval supply for the rest of the NWS to the southwest; intraseasonal northeastward wind pulses coinciding with the mass larval spawning would bring larvae from coastal regions to the Dampier Archipelago on rare occasions. By aggregating the reefs into 47 subregions

  16. Coral reef encruster communities and carbonate production in cryptic and exposed coral reef habitats along a gradient of terrestrial disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallela, J.

    2007-12-01

    Encrusting calcareous organisms such as bryozoans, crustose coralline algae (CCA), foraminiferans, and serpulid worms are integral components of tropical framework-building reefs. They can contribute calcium carbonate to the reef framework, stabilise the substrate, and promote larval recruitment of other framework-building species (e.g. coral recruits). The percentage cover of encrusting organisms and their rates of carbonate production (g m-2 year-1) were assessed at four sites within a coastal embayment, along a gradient of riverine influence (high-low). As the orientation and type of substrate is thought to influence recruitment of encrusting organisms, organisms recruiting to both natural (the underside of platy corals) and experimental substrates were assessed. The effect of substrate exposure under different levels of riverine influence was assessed by orientating experimental substrates to mimic cryptic and exposed reef habitats (downwards-facing vs upwards-facing tiles) at each site. Cryptic experimental tiles supported similar encruster assemblages to those recruiting to the underneath (cryptic side) of platy corals, suggesting that tiles can be used as an experimental substrate to assess encruster recruitment in reef systems. Encruster cover, in particular CCA, and carbonate production was significantly higher at low-impact (clear water), high wave energy sites when compared to highly riverine impacted (turbid water), low wave energy sites. Cryptically orientated substrates supported a greater diversity of encrusting organisms, in particular serpulid worms and bryozoans. The inverse relationships observed between riverine inputs and encrusters (total encruster cover and carbonate production) have implications for both the current and future rates and styles of reefal framework production.

  17. Expression of a symbiosis-specific gene in Symbiodinium type A1 associated with coral, nudibranch and giant clam larvae

    KAUST Repository

    Mies, M.

    2017-05-24

    Symbiodinium are responsible for the majority of primary production in coral reefs and found in a mutualistic symbiosis with multiple animal phyla. However, little is known about the molecular signals involved in the establishment of this symbiosis and whether it initiates during host larval development. To address this question, we monitored the expression of a putative symbiosis-specific gene (H+-ATPase) in Symbiodinium A1 ex hospite and in association with larvae of a scleractinian coral (Mussismilia hispida), a nudibranch (Berghia stephanieae) and a giant clam (Tridacna crocea). We acquired broodstock for each host, induced spawning and cultured the larvae. Symbiodinium cells were offered and larval samples taken for each host during the first 72 h after symbiont addition. In addition, control samples including free-living Symbiodinium and broodstock tissue containing symbionts for each host were collected. RNA extraction and RT-PCR were performed and amplified products cloned and sequenced. Our results show that H+-ATPase was expressed in Symbiodinium associated with coral and giant clam larvae, but not with nudibranch larvae, which digested the symbionts. Broodstock tissue for coral and giant clam also expressed H+-ATPase, but not the nudibranch tissue sample. Our results of the expression of H+-ATPase as a marker gene suggest that symbiosis between Symbiodinium and M. hispida and T. crocea is established during host larval development. Conversely, in the case of B. stephanieae larvae, evidence does not support a mutualistic relationship. Our study supports the utilization of H+-ATPase expression as a marker for assessing Symbiodinium-invertebrate relationships with applications for the differentiation of symbiotic and non-symbiotic associations. At the same time, insights from a single marker gene approach are limited and future studies should direct the identification of additional symbiosis-specific genes, ideally from both symbiont and host.

  18. 40 CFR 230.44 - Coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coral reefs. 230.44 Section 230.44... Aquatic Sites § 230.44 Coral reefs. (a) Coral reefs consist of the skeletal deposit, usually of calcareous... organisms present in growing portions of the reef. (b) Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or...

  19. Post-embryonic transcriptomes of the prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii: multigenic succession through metamorphosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomer Ventura

    Full Text Available Like many metazoans, the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii begins its post-embryonic life with a set of morphologically distinct planktonic larval stages, followed by a benthic post-larval stage during which the maturing organism differs from the larvae both ecologically and physiologically. Understanding of the molecular basis underlying morphogenesis in crustaceans is limited to the observation that methyl farnesoate, the non-epoxidated form of the insect juvenile hormone, acts as the active crustacean juvenoid. Molt steroids were also linked to morphogenesis and several other molecular pathways, such as Hedgehog and Wnt, are known to underlie morphogenesis in all metazoans examined and, as such, are thought to do the same in crustaceans. Using next generation sequencing, we deep-sequenced the transcriptomes of several larval and post-larval stages. De novo assembly, followed by bioinformatics analysis, revealed that many novel transcripts are over-expressed in either larvae- or post-larvae-stage prawn, shedding light on the molecular basis underlying M. rosenbergii metamorphosis. Fast larval molting rates and periodic morphological changes were reflected in over-expression of transcripts annotated to the cell cycle, DNA replication and morphogenic pathways (i.e., Hedgehog and Wnt. Further characterization of transcripts assigned to morphogenic pathways by real-time RT-PCR reconfirmed their over-expression in larvae, albeit with a more complex expression pattern when examined in the individual developmental stages. The expression level of an orthologue of cytochrome P450, 15A1, known to epoxidize methyl farnesoate in insects, was increased in the late larval and early post-larval stages, in accordance with the role of methyl farnesoate in crustacean metamorphosis. This study exemplifies the applicability of a high-throughput sequencing approach for studying complex traits, including metamorphosis, providing new insight into this

  20. Post-embryonic transcriptomes of the prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii: multigenic succession through metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Tomer; Manor, Rivka; Aflalo, Eliahu D; Chalifa-Caspi, Vered; Weil, Simy; Sharabi, Omri; Sagi, Amir

    2013-01-01

    Like many metazoans, the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii begins its post-embryonic life with a set of morphologically distinct planktonic larval stages, followed by a benthic post-larval stage during which the maturing organism differs from the larvae both ecologically and physiologically. Understanding of the molecular basis underlying morphogenesis in crustaceans is limited to the observation that methyl farnesoate, the non-epoxidated form of the insect juvenile hormone, acts as the active crustacean juvenoid. Molt steroids were also linked to morphogenesis and several other molecular pathways, such as Hedgehog and Wnt, are known to underlie morphogenesis in all metazoans examined and, as such, are thought to do the same in crustaceans. Using next generation sequencing, we deep-sequenced the transcriptomes of several larval and post-larval stages. De novo assembly, followed by bioinformatics analysis, revealed that many novel transcripts are over-expressed in either larvae- or post-larvae-stage prawn, shedding light on the molecular basis underlying M. rosenbergii metamorphosis. Fast larval molting rates and periodic morphological changes were reflected in over-expression of transcripts annotated to the cell cycle, DNA replication and morphogenic pathways (i.e., Hedgehog and Wnt). Further characterization of transcripts assigned to morphogenic pathways by real-time RT-PCR reconfirmed their over-expression in larvae, albeit with a more complex expression pattern when examined in the individual developmental stages. The expression level of an orthologue of cytochrome P450, 15A1, known to epoxidize methyl farnesoate in insects, was increased in the late larval and early post-larval stages, in accordance with the role of methyl farnesoate in crustacean metamorphosis. This study exemplifies the applicability of a high-throughput sequencing approach for studying complex traits, including metamorphosis, providing new insight into this unexplored area of

  1. Tradeoffs to Thermal Acclimation: Energetics and Reproduction of a Reef Coral with Heat Tolerant Symbiodinium Type-D

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M. Jones

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The photo-physiological characteristics of thermo-tolerant Symbiodinium types have been postulated to have negative effects on the energetics of the reef corals by reducing fitness. To investigate this, two key and inextricably coupled indicators of fitness, lipids and reproduction, were monitored in colonies of the broadcast-spawning coral Acropora millepora over a two-year period that included a natural bleaching event. In the absence of bleaching ITS1-type clade D predominant colonies had 26% lower stored lipids compared to C2 colonies. At spawning time, this correlated with 28% smaller eggs in type-D colonies. This energetic disparity is expected to have reduced larval duration and settlement-competency periods in type-D compared to type-C2 colonies. More importantly, irrespective of the effect of genotype, the fitness of all corals was adversely affected by the stress of the bleaching event which reduced prespawning lipids by 60% and halved the number of eggs compared to the previous year. Our results extend work that has shown that direct temperature stress and symbiont change are likely to work in concert on corals by demonstrating that the lipids and reproduction of the reef building corals on tropical reefs are likely to be impaired by these processes as our climate warms.

  2. Restricted gene flow in the Caribbean staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis: implications for the recovery of endangered reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, Steven V; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2007-01-01

    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 genes. Data from 160 individuals from 22 populations and 9 regions show that A. cervicornis exhibits significant population genetic structure across the greater Caribbean in both the mitochondrial (Phi(st) = 0.130) and nuclear data (Phi(st) = 0.067). The highest population structure was observed in the species' own, native mtDNA haplotypes (Phi(st) = 0.235). Introgressed alleles from A. palmata tempered higher population structure in A. cervicornis over regional scales but in some cases generated highly localized "introgression hot spots" and fine-scale genetic structure among reefs separated by as few as 2 km. These data show that larval dispersal over moderate or long distances (>500 km) is limited for this threatened species and in some cases locally limited as well. Thus, the endangered Caribbean staghorn corals require local source populations for their recovery and targeted conservation efforts over spatial scales much smaller than the hundreds to thousands of kilometers usually proposed for marine reserves.

  3. Sharp genetic breaks among populations of Haptosquilla pulchella (Stomatopoda) indicate limits to larval transport: patterns, causes, and consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, P H; Palumbi, S R; Erdmann, M V; Moosa, M K

    2002-04-01

    To help stem the precipitous decline of coral reef ecosystems world-wide, conservation efforts are focused on establishing interconnected reserve networks to protect threatened populations. Because many coral reef organisms have a planktonic or pelagic larval dispersal phase, it is critical to understand the patterns of ecological connectivity between reserve populations that result from larval dispersal. We used genetics to infer dispersal patterns among 24 Indo-West Pacific populations of the mantis shrimp, Haptosquilla pulchella. Contrary to predictions of high dispersal facilitated by the strong currents of the Indonesian throughflow, mitochondrial DNA sequences from 393 individuals displayed striking patterns of regional genetic differentiation concordant with ocean basins isolated during periods of lowered sea level. Patterns of genetic structuring indicate that although dispersal within geographical regions with semicontiguous coastlines spanning thousands of kilometres may be common, ecologically meaningful connections can be rare among populations separated by as little as 300 km of open ocean. Strong genetic mosaics in a species with high dispersal potential highlight the utility of genetics for identifying regional patterns of genetic connectivity between marine populations and show that the assumption that ocean currents will provide ecological connectivity among marine populations must be empirically tested in the design of marine reserve networks.

  4. CORAL REEFS. Genomic determinants of coral heat tolerance across latitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Groves B; Davies, Sarah W; Aglyamova, Galina A; Meyer, Eli; Bay, Line K; Matz, Mikhail V

    2015-06-26

    As global warming continues, reef-building corals could avoid local population declines through "genetic rescue" involving exchange of heat-tolerant genotypes across latitudes, but only if latitudinal variation in thermal tolerance is heritable. Here, we show an up-to-10-fold increase in odds of survival of coral larvae under heat stress when their parents come from a warmer lower-latitude location. Elevated thermal tolerance was associated with heritable differences in expression of oxidative, extracellular, transport, and mitochondrial functions that indicated a lack of prior stress. Moreover, two genomic regions strongly responded to selection for thermal tolerance in interlatitudinal crosses. These results demonstrate that variation in coral thermal tolerance across latitudes has a strong genetic basis and could serve as raw material for natural selection. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. Unraveling the microbial processes of black band disease in corals through integrated genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Yui; Ling, Edmund Y. S.; Turaev, Dmitrij; Laffy, Patrick; Weynberg, Karen D.; Rattei, Thomas; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2017-01-01

    Coral disease outbreaks contribute to the ongoing degradation of reef ecosystems, however, microbial mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of most coral diseases are poorly understood. Black band disease (BBD) manifests as a cyanobacterial-dominated microbial mat that destroys coral tissues as it rapidly spreads over coral colonies. To elucidate BBD pathogenesis, we apply a comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approach to identify taxonomic and functional changes within microbial lesions during in-situ development of BBD from a comparatively benign stage termed cyanobacterial patches. Results suggest that photosynthetic CO2-fixation in Cyanobacteria substantially enhances productivity of organic matter within the lesion during disease development. Photosynthates appear to subsequently promote sulfide-production by Deltaproteobacteria, facilitating the major virulence factor of BBD. Interestingly, our metagenome-enabled transcriptomic analysis reveals that BBD-associated cyanobacteria have a putative mechanism that enables them to adapt to higher levels of hydrogen sulfide within lesions, underpinning the pivotal roles of the dominant cyanobacterium within the polymicrobial lesions during the onset of BBD. The current study presents sequence-based evidence derived from whole microbial communities that unravel the mechanism of development and progression of BBD.

  6. How do corals make rocks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkowski, P. G.; Mass, T.; Drake, J.; Schaller, M. F.; Rosenthal, Y.; Schofield, O.; Sherrell, R. M.

    2014-12-01

    We have developed a three pronged approach to understanding how corals precipitate aragonite crystals and contain proxy biogeochemical information. Using proteomic and genomic approaches, we have identified 35 proteins in coral skeletons. Among these are a series of coral acidic proteins (CARPs). Based on their gene sequences, we cloned a subset of these proteins and purified them. Each of the proteins precipitate aragonite in vitro in unamended seawater. Antibodies raised against these proteins react with individual crystals of the native coral, clearly revealing that they are part of a biomineral structure. Based on the primary structure of the proteins we have developed a model of the precipitation reaction that focuses on a Lewis acid displacement of protons from bicarbonate anions by calcium ligated to the carboxyl groups on the CARPs. The reactions are highly acidic and are not manifestly influenced by pH above ca. 6. These results suggest that corals will maintain the ability to calcify in the coming centuries, despite acidification of the oceans.

  7. Supplementary Material for: Transcriptome and proteome dynamics in larvae of the barnacle Balanus Amphitrite from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is widely distributed in marine shallow and tidal waters, and has significant economic and ecological importance. Nauplii, the first larval stage of most crustaceans, are extremely abundant in the marine zooplankton. However, a lack of genome information has hindered elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of development, settlement and survival strategies in extreme marine environments. We sequenced and constructed the genome dataset for nauplii to obtain comprehensive larval genetic information. We also investigated iTRAQ-based protein expression patterns to reveal the molecular basis of nauplii development, and to gain information on larval survival strategies in the Red Sea marine environment. Results A nauplii larval transcript dataset, containing 92,117 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), was constructed and used as a reference for the proteome analysis. Genes related to translation, oxidative phosphorylation and cytoskeletal development were highly abundant. We observed remarkable plasticity in the proteome of Red Sea larvae. The proteins associated with development, stress responses and osmoregulation showed the most significant differences between the two larval populations studied. The synergistic overexpression of heat shock and osmoregulatory proteins may facilitate larval survival in intertidal habitats or in extreme environments. Conclusions We presented, for the first time, comprehensive transcriptome and proteome datasets for Red Sea nauplii. The datasets provide a foundation for future investigations focused on the survival mechanisms of other crustaceans in extreme marine environments.

  8. Metatranscriptome Sequencing of a Reef-building Coral Elucidates Holobiont Community Gene Functions in Health and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timberlake, S.; Helbig, T.; Fernando, S.; Penn, K.; Alm, E.; Thompson, F.; Thompson, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    other coral host genes whose expression differs in this disease. Our work provides a first glimpse into coral holobiont community gene function and its deviations in disease. Moreover, we hope that our bioinformatic protocol, designed to cope with the challenges of short-read transcriptomics from complex ecosystems with no close reference, will be a useful template to further understanding of the gene functions and ecological partnerships in coral reefs and other complex ecosystems.

  9. Confronting the coral reef crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, D. R.; Hughes, T. P.; Folke, C.; Nyström, M.

    2004-06-01

    The worldwide decline of coral reefs calls for an urgent reassessment of current management practices. Confronting large-scale crises requires a major scaling-up of management efforts based on an improved understanding of the ecological processes that underlie reef resilience. Managing for improved resilience, incorporating the role of human activity in shaping ecosystems, provides a basis for coping with uncertainty, future changes and ecological surprises. Here we review the ecological roles of critical functional groups (for both corals and reef fishes) that are fundamental to understanding resilience and avoiding phase shifts from coral dominance to less desirable, degraded ecosystems. We identify striking biogeographic differences in the species richness and composition of functional groups, which highlight the vulnerability of Caribbean reef ecosystems. These findings have profound implications for restoration of degraded reefs, management of fisheries, and the focus on marine protected areas and biodiversity hotspots as priorities for conservation.

  10. Towards 'ecological coherence': Assessing larval dispersal within a network of existing Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Rebecca E.; Nimmo-Smith, W. Alex M.; Howell, Kerry L.

    2017-08-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity mandates the establishment of Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks worldwide, with recommendations stating the importance of 'ecological coherence,' a responsibility to support and perpetuate the existing ecosystem, implying the need to sustain population connectivity. While recommendations exist for integrating connectivity data into MPA planning, little advice exists on how to assess the connectivity of existing networks. This study makes use of recently observed larval characteristics and freely available models to demonstrate how such an assessment could be undertaken. The cold water coral (CWC) Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758) is used as a model species, as much of the NE Atlantic MPA network has been designated for CWC reef protection, but the ecological coherence of the network has yet to be assessed. Simulations are run for different behavioural null models allowing a comparison of 'passive' (current driven) and 'active' (currents + vertical migration) dispersal, while an average prediction is used for MPA assessment. This model suggests that the network may support widespread larval exchange and has good local retention rates but still has room for improvement. The best performing MPAs were large and central to the network facilitating transport across local dispersal barriers. On average, passive and active dispersal simulations gave statistically similar results, providing encouragement to future local dispersal assessments where active characteristics are unknown.

  11. Quantifying coastal connectivity of coral spawn and larvae around Ryukyu Islands in the East China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odani, S.; Uchiyama, Y.; Kashima, M.; Kamidaira, Y.; Mitarai, S.

    2016-12-01

    Ryukyu Islands in the East China Sea are in a subtropical climate, hosting desirable environment for abundant coral ecosystem. Okinawa Main Island is the most densely populated island among them with tremendous tourist attractions including enchanting coral reefs and beaches. Kamidaira et al. (2016) suggested that the Kuroshio warm water maintains warmer water temperature favorable to corals around the island due mainly to intermittent eddy heat transport. It is presumed that the Kuroshio and associated eddy mixing also promote the transport and dispersal of coral spawn and larvae across the islands, whereas the area has suffered from coral breeching in the recent decades. Therefore, for optimal preservation and protection of the coral habitats around Ryukyu Island, we conduct a double nested high-resolution synoptic ocean modeling using ROMS with grid spacing down to 1 km coupled with an offline Lagrangian particle tracking model to investigate dispersal of coral spawn and larvae released from about 20 major islands and lagoons. Based on the model outcome, we quantify connectivity using Lagrangian probability density functions (PDFs) of the Lagrangian particles (e.g., Mitarai et al., 2009) among Ryukyu Islands. We then focus on the larval dispersal released from Sekisei Lagoon in Yaeyama Islands close to Taiwan, where we have carried out a series of in-situ surface drifter measurement. To compare the observation with the model, 160 source and sink patches with a diameter of 3 km are defined around Sekisei Lagoon and Okinawa Main Island for quantification of the detailed connectivity between them. The advection time is assumed for no more than 3 weeks to represent the lifespan of coral spawn and larvae. A PDF analysis suggests that the particles mostly remain near the released areas with predominant clockwise circulation around the lagoon, while approximately less than 5 % of particles are trapped and transported northeastward in long distance by the Kuroshio. The

  12. Seawater transport during coral biomineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnon, Alexander C.; Adkins, Jess F.; Erez, Jonathan

    2012-05-01

    Cation transport during skeletal growth is a key process controlling metal/calcium (Me/Ca) paleoproxy behavior in coral. To characterize this transport, cultured corals were transferred into seawater enriched in the rare earth element Tb3 + as well as stable isotopes of calcium, strontium, and barium. Subsequent NanoSIMS ion images of each coral skeleton were used to follow uptake dynamics. These images show a continuous region corresponding to new growth that is homogeneously enriched in each tracer. Isotope ratio profiles across the new growth boundary transition rapidly from natural abundance ratios to a ratio matching the enriched culture solution. The location of this transition is the same for each element, within analytical resolution. The synchronous incorporation of all these cations, including the dissimilar ion terbium, which has no known biological function in coral, suggests that: (1) there is cation exchange between seawater and the calcifying fluid, and (2) these elements are influenced by similar transport mechanisms consistent with direct and rapid seawater transport to the site of calcification. Measured using isotope ratio profiles, seawater transport rates differ from place to place on the growing coral skeleton, with calcifying fluid turnover times from 30 min to 5.7 h. Despite these differences, all the elements measured in this study show the same transport dynamics at each location. Using an analytical geochemical model of biomineralization that includes direct seawater transport we constrain the role of active calcium pumping during calcification and we show that the balance between seawater transport and precipitation can explain observed Me/Ca variability in deep-sea coral.

  13. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura D. Mydlarz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists.

  14. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeij, Mark J A; Marhaver, Kristen L; Huijbers, Chantal M; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Simpson, Stephen D

    2010-05-14

    Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (coral larvae respond to acoustic cues that may facilitate detection of habitat from large distances and from upcurrent of preferred settlement locations. Using in situ choice chambers, we found that settling coral larvae were attracted to reef sounds, produced mainly by fish and crustaceans, which we broadcast underwater using loudspeakers. Our discovery that coral larvae can detect and respond to sound is the first description of an auditory response in the invertebrate phylum Cnidaria, which includes jellyfish, anemones, and hydroids as well as corals. If, like settlement-stage reef fish and crustaceans, coral larvae use reef noise as a cue for orientation, the alleviation of noise pollution in the marine environment may gain further urgency.

  15. Coral benchmarks in the center of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Licuanan, W Y; Robles, R; Dygico, M; Songco, A; van Woesik, R

    2017-01-30

    There is an urgent need to quantify coral reef benchmarks that assess changes and recovery rates through time and serve as goals for management. Yet, few studies have identified benchmarks for hard coral cover and diversity in the center of marine diversity. In this study, we estimated coral cover and generic diversity benchmarks on the Tubbataha reefs, the largest and best-enforced no-take marine protected area in the Philippines. The shallow (2-6m) reef slopes of Tubbataha were monitored annually, from 2012 to 2015, using hierarchical sampling. Mean coral cover was 34% (σ±1.7) and generic diversity was 18 (σ±0.9) per 75m by 25m station. The southeastern leeward slopes supported on average 56% coral cover, whereas the northeastern windward slopes supported 30%, and the western slopes supported 18% coral cover. Generic diversity was more spatially homogeneous than coral cover. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Coral reefs in the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P.; Barnes, Michele L.; Bellwood, David R.; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cumming, Graeme S.; Jackson, Jeremy B. C.; Kleypas, Joanie; van de Leemput, Ingrid A.; Lough, Janice M.; Morrison, Tiffany H.; Palumbi, Stephen R.; van Nes, Egbert H.; Scheffer, Marten

    2017-06-01

    Coral reefs support immense biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services to many millions of people. Yet reefs are degrading rapidly in response to numerous anthropogenic drivers. In the coming centuries, reefs will run the gauntlet of climate change, and rising temperatures will transform them into new configurations, unlike anything observed previously by humans. Returning reefs to past configurations is no longer an option. Instead, the global challenge is to steer reefs through the Anthropocene era in a way that maintains their biological functions. Successful navigation of this transition will require radical changes in the science, management and governance of coral reefs.

  17. Global warming and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    photosynthesis and survival of coral planulae, etc. Unfortunately, no such studies have been carried out on Indian corals so far, and a visualization of what will happen to Indian reefs if sea level rises rapidly will have to be constructed based on such dat... susceptible, as plankton living near the sea surface, and as hosts deriving nutri tional benefits from zooxanthtllar photosynthesis, which itself is susceptible to UV-B damage. Contrary to the misconception that UV is absorbed by the sea water, UV penetrates...

  18. TCW: transcriptome computational workbench.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Soderlund

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The analysis of transcriptome data involves many steps and various programs, along with organization of large amounts of data and results. Without a methodical approach for storage, analysis and query, the resulting ad hoc analysis can lead to human error, loss of data and results, inefficient use of time, and lack of verifiability, repeatability, and extensibility. METHODOLOGY: The Transcriptome Computational Workbench (TCW provides Java graphical interfaces for methodical analysis for both single and comparative transcriptome data without the use of a reference genome (e.g. for non-model organisms. The singleTCW interface steps the user through importing transcript sequences (e.g. Illumina or assembling long sequences (e.g. Sanger, 454, transcripts, annotating the sequences, and performing differential expression analysis using published statistical programs in R. The data, metadata, and results are stored in a MySQL database. The multiTCW interface builds a comparison database by importing sequence and annotation from one or more single TCW databases, executes the ESTscan program to translate the sequences into proteins, and then incorporates one or more clusterings, where the clustering options are to execute the orthoMCL program, compute transitive closure, or import clusters. Both singleTCW and multiTCW allow extensive query and display of the results, where singleTCW displays the alignment of annotation hits to transcript sequences, and multiTCW displays multiple transcript alignments with MUSCLE or pairwise alignments. The query programs can be executed on the desktop for fastest analysis, or from the web for sharing the results. CONCLUSION: It is now affordable to buy a multi-processor machine, and easy to install Java and MySQL. By simply downloading the TCW, the user can interactively analyze, query and view their data. The TCW allows in-depth data mining of the results, which can lead to a better understanding of the

  19. A preliminary study of corals recruitment using coral rubbles substrate in Seribu Island waters, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nur Fadli

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral recruitment is important in natural recovery and coral rehabilitation program. Here, wetested the coral rubbles as substrate for coral recruitment. The study was conducted on the first week ofSeptember 2007 until the second week of January 2008 in Panggang Island, Seribu Islands, Indonesia.The results showed that the recruited coral were settled on the substrate in both depths (6 and 10 m. Atotal of 5 families of recruited coral were recorded during the study, namely Acroporidae, Pocilloporidae,Oculinidae, Fungiidae and Poritidae. There were no differences in term of the number of recruits thatwere found in 6 and 10 m depth.

  20. Speciation versus phenotypic plasticity in coral inhabiting barnacles: Darwin's observations in an ecological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokady, O; Loya, Y; Achituv, Y; Geffen, E; Graur, D; Rozenblatt, S; Brickner, I

    1999-09-01

    Speciation and phenotypic plasticity are two extreme strategic modes enabling a given taxon to populate a broad ecological niche. One of the organismal models which stimulated Darwin's ideas on speciation was the Cirripedia (barnacles), to which he dedicated a large monograph. In several cases, including the coral-inhabiting barnacle genera Savignium and Cantellius (formerly Pyrgoma and Creusia, respectively), Darwin assigned barnacle specimens to morphological "varieties" (as opposed to species) within a genus. Despite having been the subject of taxonomic investigations and revisions ever since, the significance of these varieties has never been examined with respect to host-associated speciation processes. Here we provide evidence from molecular (12S mt rDNA sequences) and micromorphological (SEM) studies, suggesting that these closely related barnacle genera utilize opposite strategies for populating a suite of live-coral substrates. Cantellius demonstrates a relatively low genetic variability, despite inhabiting a wide range of corals. The species C. pallidus alone was found on three coral families, belonging to distinct higher-order classification units. In contrast, Savignium barnacles exhibit large between- and within-species variations with respect to both micromorphology and DNA sequences, with S. dentatum "varieties" clustering phylogenetically according to their coral host species (all of which are members of a single family). Thus, whereas Savignium seems to have undergone intense host-associated speciation over a relatively narrow taxonomic range of hosts, Cantellius shows phenotypic plasticity over a much larger range. This dichotomy correlates with differences in life-history parameters between these barnacle taxa, including host-infestation characteristics, reproductive strategies, and larval trophic type.

  1. Monitoring Land Based Sources of Pollution over Coral Reefs using VIIRS Ocean Color Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiger, E.; Strong, A. E.; Eakin, C. M.; Wang, M.; Hernandez, W. J.; Cardona Maldonado, M. A.; De La Cour, J. L.; Liu, G.; Tirak, K.; Heron, S. F.; Skirving, W. J.; Armstrong, R.; Warner, R. A.

    2016-02-01

    NOAA's Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program and the NESDIS Ocean Color Team are developing new products to monitor land based sources of pollution (LBSP) over coral reef ecosystems using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the S-NPP satellite. LBSP are a major threat to corals that can cause disease and mortality, disrupt critical ecological reef functions, and impede growth, reproduction, and larval settlement, among other impacts. From VIIRS, near-real-time satellite products of Chlorophyll-a, Kd(490), and sea surface temperature are being developed for three U.S. Coral Reef Task Force priority watershed sites - Ka'anapali (West Maui, Hawai'i), Faga'alu (American Samoa), and Guánica Bay (Puerto Rico). Background climatological levels of these parameters are being developed to construct anomaly products. Time-series data are being generated to monitor changes in water quality in near-real-time and provide information on historical variations, especially following significant rain events. A pilot calibration/validation field study of the VIIRS-based ocean color products is underway in Puerto Rico; we plan to expand this validation effort to the other two watersheds. Working with local resource managers, we have identified a focal area for product development and validation for each watershed and its associated local reefs. This poster will present preliminary results and identify a path forward to ensure marine resource managers understand and correctly use the new ocean color products, and to help NOAA CRW refine its satellite products to maximize their benefit to coral reef management. NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NESDIS - NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service S-NPP - Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership

  2. Congruent patterns of connectivity can inform management for broadcast spawning corals on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Riginos, Cynthia; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2016-07-01

    Connectivity underpins the persistence and recovery of marine ecosystems. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and managed by an extensive network of no-take zones; however, information about connectivity was not available to optimize the network's configuration. We use multivariate analyses, Bayesian clustering algorithms and assignment tests of the largest population genetic data set for any organism on the GBR to date (Acropora tenuis, >2500 colonies; >50 reefs, genotyped for ten microsatellite loci) to demonstrate highly congruent patterns of connectivity between this common broadcast spawning reef-building coral and its congener Acropora millepora (~950 colonies; 20 reefs, genotyped for 12 microsatellite loci). For both species, there is a genetic divide at around 19°S latitude, most probably reflecting allopatric differentiation during the Pleistocene. GBR reefs north of 19°S are essentially panmictic whereas southern reefs are genetically distinct with higher levels of genetic diversity and population structure, most notably genetic subdivision between inshore and offshore reefs south of 19°S. These broadly congruent patterns of higher genetic diversities found on southern GBR reefs most likely represent the accumulation of alleles via the southward flowing East Australia Current. In addition, signatures of genetic admixture between the Coral Sea and outer-shelf reefs in the northern, central and southern GBR provide evidence of recent gene flow. Our connectivity results are consistent with predictions from recently published larval dispersal models for broadcast spawning corals on the GBR, thereby providing robust connectivity information about the dominant reef-building genus Acropora for coral reef managers.

  3. Rapid recovery of genetic diversity of stomatopod populations on Krakatau: temporal and spatial scales of marine larval dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, P H; Moosa, M K; Palumbi, S R

    2002-08-07

    Although the recovery of terrestrial communities shattered by the massive eruption of Krakatau in 1883 has been well chronicled, the fate of marine populations has been largely ignored. We examined patterns of genetic diversity in populations of two coral reef-dwelling mantis shrimp, Haptosquilla pulchella and Haptosquilla glyptocercus (Stomatopoda: Protosquillidae), on the islands of Anak Krakatau and Rakata. Genetic surveys of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c (subunit 1) in these populations revealed remarkably high levels of haplotypic and nucleotide diversity that were comparable with undisturbed populations throughout the Indo-Pacific. Recolonization and rapid recovery of genetic diversity in the Krakatau populations indicates that larval dispersal from multiple and diverse source populations contributes substantially to the demographics of local populations over intermediate temporal (tens to hundreds of years) and spatial scales (tens to hundreds of kilometres). Natural experiments such as Krakatau provide an excellent mechanism to investigate marine larval dispersal and connectivity. Results from stomatopods indicate that marine reserves should be spaced no more than 50-100 km apart to facilitate ecological connectivity via larval dispersal.

  4. 75 FR 39917 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ..., and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the Southern Atlantic States; Exempted Fishing Permit... for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of the South Atlantic Region. The applicant has... Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF, http://www.coralreefresearchfoundation.org/ ). Samples would be...

  5. 76 FR 30110 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-24

    ..., and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the Southern Atlantic States; Exempted Fishing Permit... implementing the Fishery Management Plan for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of the South... Cancer Institute ( http://www.cancer.gov/ ) and the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF, http://www...

  6. The cumulative impact of annual coral bleaching can turn some coral species winners into losers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grottoli, Andréa G; Warner, Mark E; Levas, Stephen J; Aschaffenburg, Matthew D; Schoepf, Verena; McGinley, Michael; Baumann, Justin; Matsui, Yohei

    2014-12-01

    Mass coral bleaching events caused by elevated seawater temperatures result in extensive coral loss throughout the tropics, and are projected to increase in frequency and severity. If bleaching becomes an annual event later in this century, more than 90% of coral reefs worldwide may be at risk of long-term degradation. While corals can recover from single isolated bleaching and can acclimate to recurring bleaching events that are separated by multiple years, it is currently unknown if and how they will survive and possibly acclimatize to annual coral bleaching. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that annual coral bleaching can dramatically alter thermal tolerance in Caribbean corals. We found that high coral energy reserves and changes in the dominant algal endosymbiont type (Symbiodinium spp.) facilitated rapid acclimation in Porites divaricata, whereas low energy reserves and a lack of algal phenotypic plasticity significantly increased susceptibility in Porites astreoides to bleaching the following year. Phenotypic plasticity in the dominant endosymbiont type of Orbicella faveolata did not prevent repeat bleaching, but may have facilitated rapid recovery. Thus, coral holobiont response to an isolated single bleaching event is not an accurate predictor of its response to bleaching the following year. Rather, the cumulative impact of annual coral bleaching can turn some coral species 'winners' into 'losers', and can also facilitate acclimation and turn some coral species 'losers' into 'winners'. Overall, these findings indicate that cumulative impact of annual coral bleaching could result in some species becoming increasingly susceptible to bleaching and face a long-term decline, while phenotypically plastic coral species will acclimatize and persist. Thus, annual coral bleaching and recovery could contribute to the selective loss of coral diversity as well as the overall decline of coral reefs in the Caribbean.

  7. Population genetic structure between Yap and Palau for the coral Acropora hyacinthus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cros, Annick; Toonen, Robert J; Davies, Sarah W; Karl, Stephen A

    2016-01-01

    Information on connectivity is becoming increasingly in demand as marine protected areas are being designed as an integral part of a network to protect marine resources at the ecosystem level. Larval dispersal and population structure, however, remain very difficult to assess. Here, we tested the predictions of a detailed oceanographic connectivity model of larval dispersal and coral recruitment within Palau and between Palau and Yap, which was developed to support the review of the existing network of marine protected areas in Palau. We used high throughput microsatellite genotyping of the coral Acropora hyacinthus to characterize population genetic structure. Pairwise F' ST values between Palau and Yap (0.10), Palau and Ngulu (0.09) and Yap and Ngulu (0.09) were all significant and similar to pairwise F' ST values of sites within Palau (0.02-0.12) and within Yap (0.02-0.09) highlighting structure at island scale and indicating that recruitment may be even more localized than previously anticipated. A bottleneck test did not reveal any signs of a founder effect between Yap and Palau. Overall, the data supports the idea that recovery of A. hyacinthus in Palau did not come exclusively from a single source but most likely came from a combination of areas, including sites within Palau. In light of these results there seems to be very little connectivity around the barrier reef and management recommendation would be to increase the number or the size of MPAs within Palau.

  8. Destruction of corals and other reef animals by coral spawn slicks on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, C. J.; Cary, J. L.; Masini, R. J.

    1993-11-01

    In March 1989, most of the corals near Coral Bay, off the north-western coastline of Australia, spawned several nights earlier than usual. Flood, rather than ebb, tides at the time of spawning combined with light north-west winds and low swell conditions to restrict the dispersal of coral propagules and, as a result, large amounts of coral spawn were trapped in the bay, forming extensive slicks. Fish and other animals began to die almost immediately, and over the next few days, over 1 million fish, representing at least 80 species, were washed ashore. A survey of the benthic communities revealed extensive mortality of corals and other reef animals over an area of about 3 km2. Live coral cover in this area decreased from 42.9% to 9.4% and several large coral colonies up to 10 m in diameter were killed. The observed mortality was presumably the result of hypoxia (oxygen depletion) created initially by the respiratory demand of the coral spawn and maintained by the biological oxygen demand of the decomposing spawn slicks and dead animals. Anecdotal reports of corals and other reef animals dying in the vicinity of coral spawn slicks on other reefs in Western Australia suggest that this phenomenon may be a relatively common event on shallow coral reefs where coral mass spawning occurs. These records and observations document, for the first time, a new source of natural disturbance that has a significant influence on the community structure of some coral reefs.

  9. Adaptation to larval crowding in Drosophila ananassae and Drosophila nasuta nasuta : increased larval competitive ability without increased larval feeding rate

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ARCHANA NAGARAJAN; SHARMILA BHARATHI NATARAJAN; MOHAN JAYARAM; ANANDA THAMMANNA; SUDARSHAN CHARI; JOY BOSE; SHREYAS V. JOIS; AMITABH JOSHI

    2016-06-01

    The standard view of adaptation to larval crowding in fruitflies, built on results from 25 years of multiple experimental evo-lution studies onDrosophila melanogaster , was that enhanced competitive ability evolves primarily through increased larvalfeeding and foraging rate, and increased larval tolerance to nitrogenous wastes, at the cost of efficiency of food conversion tobiomass. These results were at odds from the predictions of classicalK -selection theory, notably the expectation that selec-tion at high density should result in the increase of efficiency of conversion of food to biomass, and were better interpretedthrough the lens of α -selection. We show here that populations ofD. ananassaeandD. n. nasutasubjected to extreme larvalcrowding evolve greater competitive ability and pre-adult survivorship at high density, primarily through a combination ofreduced larval duration, faster attainment of minimum critical size for pupation, greater time efficiency of food conversion tobiomass and increased pupation height, with a relatively small role of increased urea/ammonia tolerance, if at all. This is avery different suite of traits than that seen to evolve under similar selection inD .melanogaster ,andseemstobeclosertotheexpectations from the canonical theory ofK -selection. We also discuss possible reasons for these differences in results acrossthe three species. Overall, the results reinforce the view that our understanding of the evolution of competitive ability in fruit-flies needs to be more nuanced than before, with an appreciation that there may be multiple evolutionary routes through whichhigher competitive ability can be attained.

  10. Microbial diseases of corals and global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Ben-Haim, Yael

    2002-06-01

    Coral bleaching and other diseases of corals have increased dramatically during the last few decades. As outbreaks of these diseases are highly correlated with increased sea-water temperature, one of the consequences of global warming will probably be mass destruction of coral reefs. The causative agent(s) of a few of these diseases have been reported: bleaching of Oculina patagonica by Vibrio shiloi; black band disease by a microbial consortium; sea-fan disease (aspergillosis) by Aspergillus sydowii; and coral white plague possibly by Sphingomonas sp. In addition, we have recently discovered that Vibrio coralyticus is the aetiological agent for bleaching the coral Pocillopora damicornis in the Red Sea. In the case of coral bleaching by V. shiloi, the major effect of increasing temperature is the expression of virulence genes by the pathogen. At high summer sea-water temperatures, V. shiloi produces an adhesin that allows it to adhere to a beta-galactoside-containing receptor in the coral mucus, penetrate into the coral epidermis, multiply intracellularly, differentiate into a viable-but-not-culturable (VBNC) state and produce toxins that inhibit photosynthesis and lyse the symbiotic zooxanthellae. In black band disease, sulphide is produced at the coral-microbial biofilm interface, which is probably responsible for tissue death. Reports of newly emerging coral diseases and the lack of epidemiological and biochemical information on the known diseases indicate that this will become a fertile area of research in the interface between microbial ecology and infectious disease.

  11. Threatened corals provide underexplored microbial habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinichi Sunagawa

    Full Text Available Contemporary in-depth sequencing of environmental samples has provided novel insights into microbial community structures, revealing that their diversity had been previously underestimated. Communities in marine environments are commonly composed of a few dominant taxa and a high number of taxonomically diverse, low-abundance organisms. However, studying the roles and genomic information of these "rare" organisms remains challenging, because little is known about their ecological niches and the environmental conditions to which they respond. Given the current threat to coral reef ecosystems, we investigated the potential of corals to provide highly specialized habitats for bacterial taxa including those that are rarely detected or absent in surrounding reef waters. The analysis of more than 350,000 small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA sequence tags and almost 2,000 nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that rare seawater biosphere members are highly abundant or even dominant in diverse Caribbean corals. Closely related corals (in the same genus/family harbored similar bacterial communities. At higher taxonomic levels, however, the similarities of these communities did not correlate with the phylogenetic relationships among corals, opening novel questions about the evolutionary stability of coral-microbial associations. Large proportions of OTUs (28.7-49.1% were unique to the coral species of origin. Analysis of the most dominant ribotypes suggests that many uncovered bacterial taxa exist in coral habitats and await future exploration. Our results indicate that coral species, and by extension other animal hosts, act as specialized habitats of otherwise rare microbes in marine ecosystems. Here, deep sequencing provided insights into coral microbiota at an unparalleled resolution and revealed that corals harbor many bacterial taxa previously not known. Given that two of the coral species investigated are listed as threatened under

  12. 75 FR 48934 - Coral Reef Conservation Program Implementation Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-12

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-ZC19 Coral Reef Conservation Program... Implementation Guidelines for the Coral Reef Conservation Program. SUMMARY: This document provides NOAA's revised Grant Program Implementation Guidelines (Guidelines) for the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP or...

  13. Sharing the slope: depth partitioning of agariciid corals and associated

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, P.; Frade, P.R.; Ogier, J.J.; Hay, K.B.; van Bleijswijk, J.; Englebert, N.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Bak, R.P.M.; Visser, P.M.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Scleractinian corals and their algal endosymbionts (genus Symbiodinium) exhibit distinct bathymetric distributions on coral reefs. Yet, few studies have assessed the evolutionary context of these ecological distributions by exploring the genetic diversity of closely related coral species

  14. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: 2016 projects to address coral reef conservation issues

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to address aspects of coral reef conservation: Enhancing Management of Pacific ESA-listed Corals with Improved Utility...

  15. Larval development of Evermannia zosterura (Perciformes: Gobiidae)

    OpenAIRE

    González-Navarro, Enrique; Saldierna-Martínez, Ricardo Javier; Aceves-Medina, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Gobiidae is the most specious fish family in the world with almost 2 000 species, however only 11% of them have been described for their larval stages. The entire life cycle information is essential to understand the biology and ecology of this important fish group. Previous studies on zooplankton samples from Ensenada de La Paz, México, have shown the presence of several Gobiidae larvae and juveniles which were identified as Evermania zosterura. The main objective of this work was to describ...

  16. ‘Peer pressure’ in larval Drosophila?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Niewalda

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding social behaviour requires a study case that is simple enough to be tractable, yet complex enough to remain interesting. Do larval Drosophila meet these requirements? In a broad sense, this question can refer to effects of the mere presence of other larvae on the behaviour of a target individual. Here we focused in a more strict sense on ‘peer pressure’, that is on the question of whether the behaviour of a target individual larva is affected by what a surrounding group of larvae is doing. We found that innate olfactory preference of a target individual was neither affected (i by the level of innate olfactory preference in the surrounding group nor (ii by the expression of learned olfactory preference in the group. Likewise, learned olfactory preference of a target individual was neither affected (iii by the level of innate olfactory preference of the surrounding group nor (iv by the learned olfactory preference the group was expressing. We conclude that larval Drosophila thus do not take note of specifically what surrounding larvae are doing. This implies that in a strict sense, and to the extent tested, there is no social interaction between larvae. These results validate widely used en mass approaches to the behaviour of larval Drosophila.

  17. A coral-on-a-chip microfluidic platform enabling live-imaging microscopy of reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Orr H; Kramarsky-Winter, Esti; Gavish, Assaf R; Stocker, Roman; Vardi, Assaf

    2016-03-04

    Coral reefs, and the unique ecosystems they support, are facing severe threats by human activities and climate change. Our understanding of these threats is hampered by the lack of robust approaches for studying the micro-scale interactions between corals and their environment. Here we present an experimental platform, coral-on-a-chip, combining micropropagation and microfluidics to allow direct microscopic study of live coral polyps. The small and transparent coral micropropagates are ideally suited for live-imaging microscopy, while the microfluidic platform facilitates long-term visualization under controlled environmental conditions. We demonstrate the usefulness of this approach by imaging coral micropropagates at previously unattainable spatio-temporal resolutions, providing new insights into several micro-scale processes including coral calcification, coral-pathogen interaction and the loss of algal symbionts (coral bleaching). Coral-on-a-chip thus provides a powerful method for studying coral physiology in vivo at the micro-scale, opening new vistas in coral biology.

  18. Variation in brain organization of coral reef fish larvae according to life history traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecchini, David; Lecellier, Gael; Lanyon, Rynae Greta; Holles, Sophie; Poucet, Bruno; Duran, Emilio

    2014-01-01

    In coral reefs, one of the great mysteries of teleost fish ecology is how larvae locate the relatively rare patches of habitat to which they recruit. The recruitment of fish larvae to a reef, after a pelagic phase lasting between 10 and 120 days, depends strongly on larval ability to swim and detect predators, prey and suitable habitat via sensory cues. However, no information is available about the relationship between brain organization in fish larvae and their sensory and swimming abilities at recruitment. For the first time, we explore the structural diversity of brain organization (comparative sizes of brain subdivisions: telencephalon, mesencephalon, cerebellum, vagal lobe and inferior lobe) among larvae of 25 coral reef fish species. We then investigate links between variation in brain organization and life history traits (swimming ability, pelagic larval duration, social behavior, diel activity and cue use relying on sensory perception). After accounting for phylogeny with independent contrasts, we found that brain organization covaried with some life history traits: (1) fish larvae with good swimming ability (>20 cm/s), a long pelagic duration (>30 days), diurnal activity and strong use of cues relying on sensory perception for detection of recruitment habitat had a larger cerebellum than other species. (2) Fish larvae with a short pelagic duration (fish larvae exhibiting solitary behavior during their oceanic phase had larger inferior and vagal lobes. Overall, we hypothesize that a well-developed cerebellum may allow fish larvae to improve their chances of successful recruitment after a long pelagic phase in the ocean. Our study is the first one to bring together quantitative information on brain organization and the relative development of major brain subdivisions across coral reef fish larvae, and more specifically to address the way in which this variation correlates with the recruitment process.

  19. Settlement patterns of the coral Acropora millepora on sediment-laden surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricardo, Gerard F; Jones, Ross J; Nordborg, Mikaela; Negri, Andrew P

    2017-07-24

    Successful recruitment in corals is important for the sustenance of coral reefs, and is considered a demographic bottleneck in the recovery of reef populations following disturbance events. Yet several factors influence larval settlement behaviour, and here we quantified thresholds associated with light attenuation and accumulated sediments on settlement substrates. Sediments deposited on calcareous red algae (CRA) directly and indirectly impacted coral settlement patterns. Although not avoiding direct contact, Acropora millepora larvae were very reluctant to settle on surfaces layered with sediments, progressively shifting their settlement preference from upward to downward facing (sediment-free) surfaces under increasing levels of deposited sediment. When only upward-facing surfaces were presented, 10% of settlement was inhibited at thresholds from 0.9 to 16mgcm(-2) (EC10), regardless of sediment type (carbonate and siliciclastic) or particle size (fine and coarse silt). These levels equate to a very thin (<150μm) veneer of sediment that occurs within background levels on reefs. Grooves within settlement surfaces slightly improved options for settlement on sediment-coated surfaces (EC10: 29mgcm(-2)), but were quickly infilled at higher deposited sediment levels. CRA that was temporarily smothered by sediment for 6d became bleached (53% surface area), and inhibited settlement at ~7mgcm(-2) (EC10). A minor decrease in settlement was observed at high and very low light intensities when using suboptimal concentrations of a settlement inducer (CRA extract); however, no inhibition was observed when natural CRA surfaces along with more realistic diel-light patterns were applied. The low deposited sediment thresholds indicate that even a thin veneer of sediment can have consequences for larval settlement due to a reduction of optimal substrate. And while grooves and overhangs provide more settlement options in high deposition areas, recruits settling at these locations

  20. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rix, L.; de Goeij, J.M.; Mueller, C.E.; Struck, U.; Middelburg, J.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Al-Horani, F.A.; Wild, C.; Naumann, M.S.; van Oevelen, D.

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and

  1. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rix, L.; de Goeij, J.M.; Mueller, C.E.; Struck, U.; Middelburg, J.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Al-Horani, F.A.; Wild, C.; Naumann, M.S.; Van Oevelen, D.

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and nutrient

  2. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rix, L.; de Goeij, J.M.; Mueller, C.E.; Struck, U.; Middelburg, J.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Al-Horani, F.A.; Wild, C.; Naumann, M.S.; Van Oevelen, D.

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and nutrient

  3. Advances in Swine Transcriptomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher K. Tuggle , Yanfang Wang, Oliver Couture

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The past five years have seen a tremendous rise in porcine transcriptomic data. Available porcine Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs have expanded greatly, with over 623,000 ESTs deposited in Genbank. ESTs have been used to expand the pig-human comparative maps, but such data has also been used in many ways to understand pig gene expression. Several methods have been used to identify genes differentially expressed (DE in specific tissues or cell types under different treatments. These include open screening methods such as suppression subtractive hybridization, differential display, serial analysis of gene expression, and EST sequence frequency, as well as closed methods that measure expression of a defined set of sequences such as hybridization to membrane arrays and microarrays. The use of microarrays to begin large-scale transcriptome analysis has been recently reported, using either specialized or broad-coverage arrays. This review covers published results using the above techniques in the pig, as well as unpublished data provided by the research community, and reports on unpublished Affymetrix data from our group. Published and unpublished bioinformatics efforts are discussed, including recent work by our group to integrate two broad-coverage microarray platforms. We conclude by predicting experiments that will become possible with new anticipated tools and data, including the porcine genome sequence. We emphasize that the need for bioinformatics infrastructure to efficiently store and analyze the expanding amounts of gene expression data is critical, and that this deficit has emerged as a limiting factor for acceleration of genomic understanding in the pig.

  4. Connectivity, biodiversity conservation and the design of marine reserve networks for coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almany, G. R.; Connolly, S. R.; Heath, D. D.; Hogan, J. D.; Jones, G. P.; McCook, L. J.; Mills, M.; Pressey, R. L.; Williamson, D. H.

    2009-06-01

    Networks of no-take reserves are important for protecting coral reef biodiversity from climate change and other human impacts. Ensuring that reserve populations are connected to each other and non-reserve populations by larval dispersal allows for recovery from disturbance and is a key aspect of resilience. In general, connectivity between reserves should increase as the distance between them decreases. However, enhancing connectivity may often tradeoff against a network’s ability to representatively sample the system’s natural variability. This “representation” objective is typically measured in terms of species richness or diversity of habitats, but has other important elements (e.g., minimizing the risk that multiple reserves will be impacted by catastrophic events). Such representation objectives tend to be better achieved as reserves become more widely spaced. Thus, optimizing the location, size and spacing of reserves requires both an understanding of larval dispersal and explicit consideration of how well the network represents the broader system; indeed the lack of an integrated theory for optimizing tradeoffs between connectivity and representation objectives has inhibited the incorporation of connectivity into reserve selection algorithms. This article addresses these issues by (1) updating general recommendations for the location, size and spacing of reserves based on emerging data on larval dispersal in corals and reef fishes, and on considerations for maintaining genetic diversity; (2) using a spatial analysis of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to examine potential tradeoffs between connectivity and representation of biodiversity and (3) describing a framework for incorporating environmental fluctuations into the conceptualization of the tradeoff between connectivity and representation, and that expresses both in a common, demographically meaningful currency, thus making optimization possible.

  5. Evolution of increased larval competitive ability in Drosophila melanogaster without increased larval feeding rate

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    MANASWINI SARANGI; ARCHANA NAGARAJAN; SNIGDHADIP DEY; JOY BOSE; AMITABH JOSHI

    2016-09-01

    Multiple experimental evolution studies on Drosophila melanogasterin the 1980s and 1990s indicated that enhanced competitive ability evolved primarily through increased larval tolerance to nitrogenous wastes and increased larval feeding and foraging rate, at the cost of efficiency of food conversion to biomass, and this became the widely accepted view of how adaptation to larval crowding evolves in fruitflies. We recently showed that populations of D. ananassaeand D. n. nasuta subjected to extreme larval crowding evolved greater competitive ability without evolving higher feeding rates, primarily through acombination of reduced larval duration, faster attainment of minimum critical size for pupation, greater efficiency of food conversion to biomass, increased pupation height and, perhaps, greater urea/ammonia tolerance. This was a very differentsuite of traits than that seen to evolve under similar selection in D. melanogasterand was closer to the expectations from the theory of K-selection. At that time, we suggested two possible reasons for the differences in the phenotypic correlates ofgreater competitive ability seen in the studies with D. melanogaster and the other two species. First, that D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta had a very different genetic architecture of traits affecting competitive ability compared to the long-term labora-tory populations of D. melanogaster used in the earlier studies, either because the populations of the former two species were relatively recently wild-caught, or by virtue of being different species. Second, that the different evolutionary trajectories in D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta versus D. melanogaster were a reflection of differences in the manner in which larval crowding was imposed in the two sets of selection experiments. The D. melanogaster studies used a higher absolute density of eggs per unit volume of food, and a substantially larger total volume of food, than the studies on D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta. Here, we

  6. Evolution of increased larval competitive ability in Drosophila melanogaster without increased larval feeding rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarangi, Manaswini; Nagarajan, Archana; Dey, Snigdhadip; Bose, Joy; Joshi, Amitabh

    2016-09-01

    Multiple experimental evolution studies on Drosophila melanogaster in the 1980s and 1990s indicated that enhanced competitive ability evolved primarily through increased larval tolerance to nitrogenous wastes and increased larval feeding and foraging rate, at the cost of efficiency of food conversion to biomass, and this became the widely accepted view of how adaptation to larval crowding evolves in fruitflies.We recently showed that populations of D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta subjected to extreme larval crowding evolved greater competitive ability without evolving higher feeding rates, primarily through a combination of reduced larval duration, faster attainment of minimum critical size for pupation, greater efficiency of food conversion to biomass, increased pupation height and, perhaps, greater urea/ammonia tolerance. This was a very different suite of traits than that seen to evolve under similar selection in D. melanogaster and was closer to the expectations from the theory of K-selection. At that time, we suggested two possible reasons for the differences in the phenotypic correlates of greater competitive ability seen in the studies with D. melanogaster and the other two species. First, that D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta had a very different genetic architecture of traits affecting competitive ability compared to the long-term laboratory populations of D. melanogaster used in the earlier studies, either because the populations of the former two species were relatively recently wild-caught, or by virtue of being different species. Second, that the different evolutionary trajectories in D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta versus D. melanogaster were a reflection of differences in the manner in which larval crowding was imposed in the two sets of selection experiments. The D. melanogaster studies used a higher absolute density of eggs per unit volume of food, and a substantially larger total volume of food, than the studies on D. ananassae and D. n. nasuta. Here, we

  7. A picture on the wall: innovative mapping reveals cold-water coral refuge in submarine canyon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veerle A I Huvenne

    Full Text Available Cold-water corals are azooxanthellate species found throughout the ocean at water depths down to 5000 m. They occur in patches, reefs or large mound structures up to 380 m high, and as ecosystem engineers create important habitats for a diverse fauna. However, the majority of these habitats are now within reach of deep-sea bottom trawling. Many have been severely damaged or are under threat, despite recent protection initiatives. Here we present a cold-water coral habitat type that so far has been overlooked--quite literally--and that has received minimal impact from human activities. Vertical and overhanging cliffs in deep-sea canyons, revealed using an innovative approach to marine habitat mapping, are shown to provide the perfect substratum for extensive cold-water coral-based communities. Typical canyon-related processes, including locally enhanced internal tides and focussed downslope organic carbon transport, provide favourable environmental conditions (current regime, food input to sustain the communities, even outside the optimal depth and density envelopes reported elsewhere in the NE Atlantic. Our findings show that deep-sea canyons can form natural refuges for faunal communities sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance, and have the potential to fulfil the crucial role of larval sources for the recolonisation of damaged sites elsewhere on the margin.

  8. Coupling Biophysical and Socioeconomic Models for Coral Reef Systems in Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Melbourne-Thomas

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Transdisciplinary approaches that consider both socioeconomic and biophysical processes are central to understanding and managing rapid change in coral reef systems worldwide. To date, there have been limited attempts to couple the two sets of processes in dynamic models for coral reefs, and these attempts are confined to reef systems in developed countries. We present an approach to coupling existing biophysical and socioeconomic models for coral reef systems in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The biophysical model is multiscale, using dynamic equations to capture local-scale ecological processes on individual reefs, with reefs connected at regional scales by the ocean transport of larval propagules. The agent-based socioeconomic model simulates changes in tourism, fisheries, and urbanization in the Quintana Roo region. Despite differences in the formulation and currencies of the two models, we were able to successfully modify and integrate them to synchronize and define information flows and feedbacks between them. A preliminary evaluation of the coupled model system indicates that the model gives reasonable predictions for fisheries and ecological variables and can be used to examine scenarios for future social-ecological change in Quintana Roo. We provide recommendations for where efforts might usefully be focused in future attempts to integrate models of biophysical and socioeconomic processes, based on the limitations of our coupled system.

  9. Mangroves enhance the biomass of coral reef fish communities in the Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J.; Edwards, Alasdair J.; Ernesto Arias-González, J.; Lindeman, Kenyon C.; Blackwell, Paul G.; Gall, Angela; Gorczynska, Malgosia I.; Harborne, Alastair R.; Pescod, Claire L.; Renken, Henk; C. C. Wabnitz, Colette; Llewellyn, Ghislane

    2004-02-01

    Mangrove forests are one of the world's most threatened tropical ecosystems with global loss exceeding 35% (ref. 1). Juvenile coral reef fish often inhabit mangroves, but the importance of these nurseries to reef fish population dynamics has not been quantified. Indeed, mangroves might be expected to have negligible influence on reef fish communities: juvenile fish can inhabit alternative habitats and fish populations may be regulated by other limiting factors such as larval supply or fishing. Here we show that mangroves are unexpectedly important, serving as an intermediate nursery habitat that may increase the survivorship of young fish. Mangroves in the Caribbean strongly influence the community structure of fish on neighbouring coral reefs. In addition, the biomass of several commercially important species is more than doubled when adult habitat is connected to mangroves. The largest herbivorous fish in the Atlantic, Scarus guacamaia, has a functional dependency on mangroves and has suffered local extinction after mangrove removal. Current rates of mangrove deforestation are likely to have severe deleterious consequences for the ecosystem function, fisheries productivity and resilience of reefs. Conservation efforts should protect connected corridors of mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

  10. Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMC): Proposed Mechanisms for Coral Health and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Raquel S.; Rosado, Phillipe M.; Leite, Deborah Catharine de Assis; Rosado, Alexandre S.; Bourne, David G.

    2017-01-01

    The symbiotic association between the coral animal and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellate partner Symbiodinium is central to the success of corals. However, an array of other microorganisms associated with coral (i.e., Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi, and viruses) have a complex and intricate role in maintaining homeostasis between corals and Symbiodinium. Corals are sensitive to shifts in the surrounding environmental conditions. One of the most widely reported responses of coral to stressful environmental conditions is bleaching. During this event, corals expel Symbiodinium cells from their gastrodermal tissues upon experiencing extended seawater temperatures above their thermal threshold. An array of other environmental stressors can also destabilize the coral microbiome, resulting in compromised health of the host, which may include disease and mortality in the worst scenario. However, the exact mechanisms by which the coral microbiome supports coral health and increases resilience are poorly understood. Earlier studies of coral microbiology proposed a coral probiotic hypothesis, wherein a dynamic relationship exists between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms, selecting for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the microbial-host relationships within the coral holobiont, along with their potential roles in maintaining coral health. We propose the term BMC (Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals) to define (specific) symbionts that promote coral health. This term and concept are analogous to the term Plant Growth Promoting Rhizosphere (PGPR), which has been widely explored and manipulated in the agricultural industry for microorganisms that inhabit the rhizosphere and directly or indirectly promote plant growth and development through the production of regulatory signals, antibiotics and nutrients. Additionally, we propose and discuss the potential mechanisms of the effects of BMC on corals, suggesting

  11. Elevated seawater temperature causes a microbial shift on crustose coralline algae with implications for the recruitment of coral larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Nicole S; Soo, Rochelle; Cobb, Rose; Negri, Andrew P

    2011-04-01

    Crustose coralline algae (CCA) are key reef-building primary producers that are known to induce the metamorphosis and recruitment of many species of coral larvae. Reef biofilms (particularly microorganisms associated with CCA) are also important as settlement cues for a variety of marine invertebrates, including corals. If rising sea surface temperatures (SSTs) affect CCA and/or their associated biofilms, this may in turn affect recruitment on coral reefs. Herein, we report that the CCA Neogoniolithon fosliei, and its associated microbial communities do not tolerate SSTs of 32 °C, only 2-4 °C above the mean maximum annual SST. After 7 days at 32 °C, the CCA exhibited clear signs of stress, including bleaching, a reduction in maximum quantum yield (F(v)/F(m)) and a large shift in microbial community structure. This shift at 32 °C involved an increase in Bacteroidetes and a reduction in Alphaproteobacteria, including the loss of the primary strain (with high-sequence similarity to a described coral symbiont). A recovery in F(v)/F(m) was observed in CCA exposed to 31 °C following 7 days of recovery (at 27 °C); however, CCA exposed to 32 °C did not recover during this time as evidenced by the rapid growth of endolithic green algae. A 50% reduction in the ability of N. fosliei to induce coral larval metamorphosis at 32 °C accompanied the changes in microbiology, pigmentation and photophysiology of the CCA. This is the first experimental evidence to demonstrate how thermal stress influences microbial associations on CCA with subsequent downstream impacts on coral recruitment, which is critical for reef regeneration and recovery from climate-related mortality events.

  12. Algae as reservoirs for coral pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Sweet

    Full Text Available Benthic algae are associated with coral death in the form of stress and disease. It's been proposed that they release exudates, which facilitate invasion of potentially pathogenic microbes at the coral-algal interface, resulting in coral disease. However, the original source of these pathogens remains unknown. This study examined the ability of benthic algae to act as reservoirs of coral pathogens by characterizing surface associated microbes associated with major Caribbean and Indo-Pacific algal species/types and by comparing them to potential pathogens of two dominant coral diseases: White Syndrome (WS in the Indo-Pacific and Yellow Band Disease (YBD in the Caribbean. Coral and algal sampling was conducted simultaneously at the same sites to avoid spatial effects. Potential pathogens were defined as those absent or rare in healthy corals, increasing in abundance in healthy tissues adjacent to a disease lesion, and dominant in disease lesions. Potentially pathogenic bacteria were detected in both WS and YBD and were also present within the majority of algal species/types (54 and 100% for WS and YBD respectively. Pathogenic ciliates were associated only with WS and not YBD lesions and these were also present in 36% of the Indo-Pacific algal species. Although potential pathogens were associated with many algal species, their presence was inconsistent among replicate algal samples and detection rates were relatively low, suggestive of low density and occurrence. At the community level, coral-associated microbes irrespective of the health of their host differed from algal-associated microbes, supporting that algae and corals have distinctive microbial communities associated with their tissue. We conclude that benthic algae are common reservoirs for a variety of different potential coral pathogens. However, algal-associated microbes alone are unlikely to cause coral death. Initial damage or stress to the coral via other competitive mechanisms is

  13. Sequencing, De Novo assembly and annotation of the Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Transcriptome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Kumar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata is a major pest and a serious threat to potato cultivation throughout the northern hemisphere. Despite its high importance for invasion biology, phenology and pest management, little is known about L. decemlineata from a genomic perspective. We subjected European L. decemlineata adult and larval transcriptome samples to 454-FLX massively-parallel DNA sequencing to characterize a basal set of genes from this species. We created a combined assembly of the adult and larval datasets including the publicly available midgut larval Roche 454 reads and provided basic annotation. We were particularly interested in diapause-specific genes and genes involved in pesticide and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt resistance. RESULTS: Using 454-FLX pyrosequencing, we obtained a total of 898,048 reads which, together with the publicly available 804,056 midgut larval reads, were assembled into 121,912 contigs. We established a repository of genes of interest, with 101 out of the 108 diapause-specific genes described in Drosophila montana; and 621 contigs involved in insecticide resistance, including 221 CYP450, 45 GSTs, 13 catalases, 15 superoxide dismutases, 22 glutathione peroxidases, 194 esterases, 3 ADAM metalloproteases, 10 cadherins and 98 calmodulins. We found 460 putative miRNAs and we predicted a significant number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (29,205 and microsatellite loci (17,284. CONCLUSIONS: This report of the assembly and annotation of the transcriptome of L. decemlineata offers new insights into diapause-associated and insecticide-resistance-associated genes in this species and provides a foundation for comparative studies with other species of insects. The data will also open new avenues for researchers using L. decemlineata as a model species, and for pest management research. Our results provide the basis for performing future gene expression and functional analysis in L

  14. Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals: the role of plate tectonics, environment and habitat distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, S A; Baird, A H; Hughes, T P; Madin, J S; Connolly, S R

    2013-07-22

    Species richness gradients are ubiquitous in nature, but the mechanisms that generate and maintain these patterns at macroecological scales remain unresolved. We use a new approach that focuses on overlapping geographical ranges of species to reveal that Indo-Pacific corals are assembled within 11 distinct faunal provinces. Province limits are characterized by co-occurrence of multiple species range boundaries. Unexpectedly, these faunal breaks are poorly predicted by contemporary environmental conditions and the present-day distribution of habitat. Instead, faunal breaks show striking concordance with geological features (tectonic plates and mantle plume tracks). The depth range over which a species occurs, its larval development rate and genus age are important determinants of the likelihood that species will straddle faunal breaks. Our findings indicate that historical processes, habitat heterogeneity and species colonization ability account for more of the present-day biogeographical patterns of corals than explanations based on the contemporary distribution of reefs or environmental conditions.

  15. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  16. Amorphous calcium carbonate particles form coral skeletons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Tali; Giuffre, Anthony J.; Sun, Chang-Yu; Stifler, Cayla A.; Frazier, Matthew J.; Neder, Maayan; Tamura, Nobumichi; Stan, Camelia V.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.

    2017-09-01

    Do corals form their skeletons by precipitation from solution or by attachment of amorphous precursor particles as observed in other minerals and biominerals? The classical model assumes precipitation in contrast with observed “vital effects,” that is, deviations from elemental and isotopic compositions at thermodynamic equilibrium. Here, we show direct spectromicroscopy evidence in Stylophora pistillata corals that two amorphous precursors exist, one hydrated and one anhydrous amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC); that these are formed in the tissue as 400-nm particles; and that they attach to the surface of coral skeletons, remain amorphous for hours, and finally, crystallize into aragonite (CaCO3). We show in both coral and synthetic aragonite spherulites that crystal growth by attachment of ACC particles is more than 100 times faster than ion-by-ion growth from solution. Fast growth provides a distinct physiological advantage to corals in the rigors of the reef, a crowded and fiercely competitive ecosystem. Corals are affected by warming-induced bleaching and postmortem dissolution, but the finding here that ACC particles are formed inside tissue may make coral skeleton formation less susceptible to ocean acidification than previously assumed. If this is how other corals form their skeletons, perhaps this is how a few corals survived past CO2 increases, such as the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum that occurred 56 Mya.

  17. The role of microorganisms in coral bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Kushmaro, Ariel; Kramarsky-Winter, Esti; Banin, Ehud; Yossi, Loya

    2009-02-01

    Coral bleaching is the disruption of the symbiosis between the coral host and its endosymbiotic algae. The prevalence and severity of the disease have been correlated with high seawater temperature. During the last decade, the major hypothesis to explain coral bleaching is that high water temperatures cause irreversible damage to the symbiotic algae resulting in loss of pigment and/or algae from the holobiont. Here, we discuss the evidence for an alternative but not mutually exclusive concept, the microbial hypothesis of coral bleaching.

  18. New tool to manage coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is making available a new tool for coral reef managers to monitor the cumulative thermal stress of several coral reefs around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef, and reefs by the Galapagos Islands, the agency announced on 25 February.The agency's "Degree Heating Weeks" product uses satellite-derived information to allow continuous monitoring of the extent and acuteness of thermal stress, which are key predictors of coral bleaching, and which contribute to coral reef degradation.

  19. The immune responses of the coral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Toledo-Hernández

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Corals are among the most ancient extant animals on earth. Currently, coral viability is threatened, due in part to the increased number of diseases affecting them in recent decades. Understanding how the innate immune systems of corals function is important if we want to predict the fate of corals and their response to the environmental and biological changes they face. In this review we discuss the latest findings regarding the innate immune systems of corals. The review is organized following the chronology of steps taken by corals from the initial encounter with a potential pathogen and recognition of threats to the orchestration of a response. We begin with the literature describing the repertory of immune-related receptors involved in the recognition of threats and the subsequent pathways leading to an immune response. We then review the effector responses that eliminate the threats described for corals. Finally, we acknowledge the literature of coral microbiology to access the potential role of microbes as an essential constituent of the coral immune system.

  20. Developing the anemone Aiptasia as a tractable model for cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis: the transcriptome of aposymbiotic A. pallida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lehnert Erik M

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral reefs are hotspots of oceanic biodiversity, forming the foundation of ecosystems that are important both ecologically and for their direct practical impacts on humans. Corals are declining globally due to a number of stressors, including rising sea-surface temperatures and pollution; such stresses can lead to a breakdown of the essential symbiotic relationship between the coral host and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, a process known as coral bleaching. Although the environmental stresses causing this breakdown are largely known, the cellular mechanisms of symbiosis establishment, maintenance, and breakdown are still largely obscure. Investigating the symbiosis using an experimentally tractable model organism, such as the small sea anemone Aiptasia, should improve our understanding of exactly how the environmental stressors affect coral survival and growth. Results We assembled the transcriptome of a clonal population of adult, aposymbiotic (dinoflagellate-free Aiptasia pallida from ~208 million reads, yielding 58,018 contigs. We demonstrated that many of these contigs represent full-length or near-full-length transcripts that encode proteins similar to those from a diverse array of pathways in other organisms, including various metabolic enzymes, cytoskeletal proteins, and neuropeptide precursors. The contigs were annotated by sequence similarity, assigned GO terms, and scanned for conserved protein domains. We analyzed the frequency and types of single-nucleotide variants and estimated the size of the Aiptasia genome to be ~421 Mb. The contigs and annotations are available through NCBI (Transcription Shotgun Assembly database, accession numbers JV077153-JV134524 and at http://pringlelab.stanford.edu/projects.html. Conclusions The availability of an extensive transcriptome assembly for A. pallida will facilitate analyses of gene-expression changes, identification of proteins of interest, and other studies in this

  1. Dispersal of grouper larvae drives local resource sharing in a coral reef fishery

    KAUST Repository

    Almany, Glenn R.

    2013-04-01

    In many tropical nations, fisheries management requires a community-based approach because small customary marine tenure areas define the spatial scale of management [1]. However, the fate of larvae originating from a community\\'s tenure is unknown, and thus the degree to which a community can expect their management actions to replenish the fisheries within their tenure is unclear [2, 3]. Furthermore, whether and how much larval dispersal links tenure areas can provide a strong basis for cooperative management [4, 5]. Using genetic parentage analysis, we measured larval dispersal from a single, managed spawning aggregation of squaretail coral grouper (Plectropomus areolatus) and determined its contribution to fisheries replenishment within five community tenure areas up to 33 km from the aggregation at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Within the community tenure area containing the aggregation, 17%-25% of juveniles were produced by the aggregation. In four adjacent tenure areas, 6%-17% of juveniles were from the aggregation. Larval dispersal kernels predict that 50% of larvae settled within 14 km of the aggregation. These results strongly suggest that both local and cooperative management actions can provide fisheries benefits to communities over small spatial scales. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Dispersal of grouper larvae drives local resource sharing in a coral reef fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almany, Glenn R; Hamilton, Richard J; Bode, Michael; Matawai, Manuai; Potuku, Tapas; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Planes, Serge; Berumen, Michael L; Rhodes, Kevin L; Thorrold, Simon R; Russ, Garry R; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2013-04-08

    In many tropical nations, fisheries management requires a community-based approach because small customary marine tenure areas define the spatial scale of management [1]. However, the fate of larvae originating from a community's tenure is unknown, and thus the degree to which a community can expect their management actions to replenish the fisheries within their tenure is unclear [2, 3]. Furthermore, whether and how much larval dispersal links tenure areas can provide a strong basis for cooperative management [4, 5]. Using genetic parentage analysis, we measured larval dispersal from a single, managed spawning aggregation of squaretail coral grouper (Plectropomus areolatus) and determined its contribution to fisheries replenishment within five community tenure areas up to 33 km from the aggregation at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Within the community tenure area containing the aggregation, 17%-25% of juveniles were produced by the aggregation. In four adjacent tenure areas, 6%-17% of juveniles were from the aggregation. Larval dispersal kernels predict that 50% of larvae settled within 14 km of the aggregation. These results strongly suggest that both local and cooperative management actions can provide fisheries benefits to communities over small spatial scales.

  3. Coral larvae settle at a higher frequency on red surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, B.; Beard, M.; Miller, M. W.

    2011-09-01

    Although chemical cues serve as the primary determinants of larval settlement and metamorphosis, light is also known to influence the behavior and the settlement of coral planulae. For example, Porites astreoides planulae settle preferentially on unconditioned red substrata. In order to test whether this behavior was a response to color and whether other species also demonstrate color preference, settlement choice experiments were conducted with P. astreoides and Acropora palmata. In these experiments, larvae were offered various types of plastic substrata representing three to seven different color choices. Both species consistently settled on red (or red and orange) substrata at a higher frequency than other colors. In one experiment, P. astreoides settled on 100% of red, plastic cable ties but failed to settle on green or white substrata. In a second experiment, 24% of larvae settled on red buttons, more than settled on six other colors combined. A. palmata settled on 80% of red and of orange cables ties but failed to settle on blue in one experiment and settled on a greater proportion of red acrylic squares than on four other colors or limestone controls in a second experiment. The consistency of the response across a variety of plastic materials suggests the response is related to long-wavelength photosensitivity. Fluorescence and reflectance spectra of experimental substrata demonstrated that the preferred substrata had spectra dominated by wavelengths greater than 550 nm with little or no reflection or emission of shorter wavelengths. These results suggest that some species of coral larvae may use spectral cues for fine-scale habitat selection during settlement. This behavior may be an adaptation to promote settlement in crustose coralline algae (CCA)-dominated habitats facilitating juvenile survival.

  4. Genomes of coral dinoflagellate symbionts highlight evolutionary adaptations conducive to a symbiotic lifestyle

    KAUST Repository

    Aranda, Manuel

    2016-12-22

    Despite half a century of research, the biology of dinoflagellates remains enigmatic: they defy many functional and genetic traits attributed to typical eukaryotic cells. Genomic approaches to study dinoflagellates are often stymied due to their large, multi-gigabase genomes. Members of the genus Symbiodinium are photosynthetic endosymbionts of stony corals that provide the foundation of coral reef ecosystems. Their smaller genome sizes provide an opportunity to interrogate evolution and functionality of dinoflagellate genomes and endosymbiosis. We sequenced the genome of the ancestral Symbiodinium microadriaticum and compared it to the genomes of the more derived Symbiodinium minutum and Symbiodinium kawagutii and eukaryote model systems as well as transcriptomes from other dinoflagellates. Comparative analyses of genome and transcriptome protein sets show that all dinoflagellates, not only Symbiodinium, possess significantly more transmembrane transporters involved in the exchange of amino acids, lipids, and glycerol than other eukaryotes. Importantly, we find that only Symbiodinium harbor an extensive transporter repertoire associated with the provisioning of carbon and nitrogen. Analyses of these transporters show species-specific expansions, which provides a genomic basis to explain differential compatibilities to an array of hosts and environments, and highlights the putative importance of gene duplications as an evolutionary mechanism in dinoflagellates and Symbiodinium.

  5. Larval development and settlement of a whale barnacle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogata, Yasuyuki; Matsumura, Kiyotaka

    2006-03-22

    Larval development and settlement of whale barnacles have not previously been described, unlike intertidal barnacles. Indeed, the mechanisms of the association between barnacles and whales have not been studied. Here we describe the larval development and settlement of the whale barnacle, Coronula diadema, and possible involvement of a cue from the host in inducing larval settlement. Eight-cell stage embryos were collected from C. diadema on a stranded humpback whale, incubated in filtered seawater for 7 days, and nauplius larvae hatched out. When fed with Chaetoceros gracilis, the nauplii developed to stage VI, and finally metamorphosed to the cypris stage. The larval development looked similar to that of intertidal barnacles with planktotrophic larval stages. The cyprids did not settle in normal seawater, but did settle in polystyrene Petri dishes when incubated in seawater with a small piece of skin tissue from the host whale. This strongly suggests the involvement of a chemical cue from the host whale tissue to induce larval settlement.

  6. Larvae of the coral eating crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci in a warmer-high CO2 ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamya, Pamela Z; Dworjanyn, Symon A; Hardy, Natasha; Mos, Benjamin; Uthicke, Sven; Byrne, Maria

    2014-11-01

    Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), Acanthaster planci, contribute to major declines of coral reef ecosystems throughout the Indo-Pacific. As the oceans warm and decrease in pH due to increased anthropogenic CO2 production, coral reefs are also susceptible to bleaching, disease and reduced calcification. The impacts of ocean acidification and warming may be exacerbated by COTS predation, but it is not known how this major predator will fare in a changing ocean. Because larval success is a key driver of population outbreaks, we investigated the sensitivities of larval A. planci to increased temperature (2-4 °C above ambient) and acidification (0.3-0.5 pH units below ambient) in flow-through cross-factorial experiments (3 temperature × 3 pH/pCO2 levels). There was no effect of increased temperature or acidification on fertilization or very early development. Larvae reared in the optimal temperature (28 °C) were the largest across all pH treatments. Development to advanced larva was negatively affected by the high temperature treatment (30 °C) and by both experimental pH levels (pH 7.6, 7.8). Thus, planktonic life stages of A. planci may be negatively impacted by near-future global change. Increased temperature and reduced pH had an additive negative effect on reducing larval size. The 30 °C treatment exceeded larval tolerance regardless of pH. As 30 °C sea surface temperatures may become the norm in low latitude tropical regions, poleward migration of A. planci may be expected as they follow optimal isotherms. In the absence of acclimation or adaptation, declines in low latitude populations may occur. Poleward migration will be facilitated by strong western boundary currents, with possible negative flow-on effects on high latitude coral reefs. The contrasting responses of the larvae of A. planci and those of its coral prey to ocean acidification and warming are considered in context with potential future change in tropical reef ecosystems.

  7. Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    ecosystems. These reports Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico , and Pacific Ocean." For the will also serve as an awareness tool for agencies to purposes of this report...alternatives for proposed discharges of - 7 dredged or fill material into U.S or international waters, *o SECTION THi- zEE EXISTING FUNDING SOURCES FOR CORAL...facilities on several thousand acres within the Ko’olaupoko Region on O’ahu. Popu- NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO lation growth and development throughout

  8. Evaluating sampling strategies for larval cisco (Coregonus artedi)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, J.T.; Stockwell, J.D.; Yule, D.L.; Black, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    To improve our ability to assess larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) populations in Lake Superior, we conducted a study to compare several sampling strategies. First, we compared density estimates of larval cisco concurrently captured in surface waters with a 2 x 1-m paired neuston net and a 0.5-m (diameter) conical net. Density estimates obtained from the two gear types were not significantly different, suggesting that the conical net is a reasonable alternative to the more cumbersome and costly neuston net. Next, we assessed the effect of tow pattern (sinusoidal versus straight tows) to examine if propeller wash affected larval density. We found no effect of propeller wash on the catchability of larval cisco. Given the availability of global positioning systems, we recommend sampling larval cisco using straight tows to simplify protocols and facilitate straightforward measurements of volume filtered. Finally, we investigated potential trends in larval cisco density estimates by sampling four time periods during the light period of a day at individual sites. Our results indicate no significant trends in larval density estimates during the day. We conclude estimates of larval cisco density across space are not confounded by time at a daily timescale. Well-designed, cost effective surveys of larval cisco abundance will help to further our understanding of this important Great Lakes forage species.

  9. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá. The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10x2m with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2, and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2. Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD, and White Plague Disease (WPD were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A.grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few

  10. Identification of Candidate Coral Pathogens on White Band Disease-Infected Staghorn Coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, Sarah A; Vollmer, Steven V

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial diseases affecting scleractinian corals pose an enormous threat to the health of coral reefs, yet we still have a limited understanding of the bacteria associated with coral diseases. White band disease is a bacterial disease that affects the two Caribbean acroporid corals, the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmate. Species of Vibrio and Rickettsia have both been identified as putative WBD pathogens. Here we used Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing to profile the bacterial communities associated with healthy and diseased A. cervicornis collected from four field sites during two different years. We also exposed corals in tanks to diseased and healthy (control) homogenates to reduce some of the natural variation of field-collected coral bacterial communities. Using a combination of multivariate analyses, we identified community-level changes between diseased and healthy corals in both the field-collected and tank-exposed datasets. We then identified changes in the abundances of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs) between diseased and healthy corals. By comparing the diseased and healthy-associated bacteria in field-collected and tank-exposed corals, we were able to identify 16 healthy-associated OTUs and 106 consistently disease-associated OTUs, which are good candidates for putative WBD pathogens. A large percentage of these disease-associated OTUs belonged to the order Flavobacteriales. In addition, two of the putative pathogens identified here belong to orders previously suggested as WBD pathogens: Vibronales and Rickettsiales.

  11. Identification of Candidate Coral Pathogens on White Band Disease-Infected Staghorn Coral.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Gignoux-Wolfsohn

    Full Text Available Bacterial diseases affecting scleractinian corals pose an enormous threat to the health of coral reefs, yet we still have a limited understanding of the bacteria associated with coral diseases. White band disease is a bacterial disease that affects the two Caribbean acroporid corals, the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmate. Species of Vibrio and Rickettsia have both been identified as putative WBD pathogens. Here we used Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing to profile the bacterial communities associated with healthy and diseased A. cervicornis collected from four field sites during two different years. We also exposed corals in tanks to diseased and healthy (control homogenates to reduce some of the natural variation of field-collected coral bacterial communities. Using a combination of multivariate analyses, we identified community-level changes between diseased and healthy corals in both the field-collected and tank-exposed datasets. We then identified changes in the abundances of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs between diseased and healthy corals. By comparing the diseased and healthy-associated bacteria in field-collected and tank-exposed corals, we were able to identify 16 healthy-associated OTUs and 106 consistently disease-associated OTUs, which are good candidates for putative WBD pathogens. A large percentage of these disease-associated OTUs belonged to the order Flavobacteriales. In addition, two of the putative pathogens identified here belong to orders previously suggested as WBD pathogens: Vibronales and Rickettsiales.

  12. Adaptive locomotor behavior in larval zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portugues, Ruben; Engert, Florian

    2011-01-01

    In this study we report that larval zebrafish display adaptive locomotor output that can be driven by unexpected visual feedback. We develop a new assay that addresses visuomotor integration in restrained larval zebrafish. The assay involves a closed-loop environment in which the visual feedback a larva receives depends on its own motor output in a way that resembles freely swimming conditions. The experimenter can control the gain of this closed feedback loop, so that following a given motor output the larva experiences more or less visual feedback depending on whether the gain is high or low. We show that increases and decreases in this gain setting result in adaptive changes in behavior that lead to a generalized decrease or increase of motor output, respectively. Our behavioral analysis shows that both the duration and tail beat frequency of individual swim bouts can be modified, as well as the frequency with which bouts are elicited. These changes can be implemented rapidly, following an exposure to a new gain of just 175 ms. In addition, modifications in some behavioral parameters accumulate over tens of seconds and effects last for at least 30 s from trial to trial. These results suggest that larvae establish an internal representation of the visual feedback expected from a given motor output and that the behavioral modifications are driven by an error signal that arises from the discrepancy between this expectation and the actual visual feedback. The assay we develop presents a unique possibility for studying visuomotor integration using imaging techniques available in the larval zebrafish.

  13. Spectral classifying base on color of live corals and dead corals covered with algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Barille, Laurent; Akbar, A. S. M.; Sawayama, Shuhei; Fitrah, Muh. Nur; Prasyad, Hermansyah

    2016-05-01

    Pigments in the host tissues of corals can make a significant contribution to their spectral signature and can affect their apparent color as perceived by a human observer. The aim of this study is classifying the spectral reflectance of corals base on different color. It is expected that they can be used as references in discriminating between live corals, dead coral covered with algae Spectral reflectance data was collected in three small islands, Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia by using a hyperspectral radiometer underwater. First and second derivative analysis resolved the wavelength locations of dominant features contributing to reflectance in corals and support the distinct differences in spectra among colour existed. Spectral derivative analysis was used to determine the specific wavelength regions ideal for remote identification of substrate type. The analysis results shown that yellow, green, brown and violet live corals are spectrally separable from each other, but they are similar with dead coral covered with algae spectral.

  14. Coral barium incorporation: implications for proxy applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonneea, M. E.; Cohen, A. L.; Charette, M. A.

    2012-12-01

    Coral Ba/Ca ratios have been proposed as proxies for various environmental variables including sediment loading, upwelling and groundwater input. Two assumptions that underpin the application of Ba/Ca ratios as an environmental proxy is 2) that corals take up Ba/Ca in concentrations proportional to seawater concentrations and 1) that the specified forcing mechanism influences seawater [Ba]. Here we present data from laboratory experiments that demonstrates corals reared in a range of seawater [Ba] linearly incorporate this signature in their skeletal Ba/Ca ratios. Observed coral Ba/Ca perturbations above baseline typically range from 5-15 μmol/mol which is ~100-500% increase over baseline. Other factors known to influence coral Ba/Ca include the temperature dependence on the partition coefficient and mass fraction aragonite precipitated by the coral which may be linked to calcification rate. In our experiments, calcification rate increased with temperature, thus the observed coral partition coefficient is the net effect of temperature (Ba/Ca increase at lower temperature) and calcification rate (Ba/Ca increase at higher temperature). We observed that the partition coefficient for reared coral Ba/Ca increased 20% 27.7 to 22.5 C, much less than observed Ba/Ca perturbations. Thus we predict that seawater [Ba] drives coral Ba/Ca signals in many locations. We present a model framework to calculate the expected contribution from sediment input, upwelling and groundwater discharge that is needed to produce this signature in corals growing in receiving waters. Finally we apply this model to a coral record from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, recording groundwater discharge to the coastal ocean.

  15. Diversity and evolution of coral fluorescent proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naila O Alieva

    Full Text Available GFP-like fluorescent proteins (FPs are the key color determinants in reef-building corals (class Anthozoa, order Scleractinia and are of considerable interest as potential genetically encoded fluorescent labels. Here we report 40 additional members of the GFP family from corals. There are three major paralogous lineages of coral FPs. One of them is retained in all sampled coral families and is responsible for the non-fluorescent purple-blue color, while each of the other two evolved a full complement of typical coral fluorescent colors (cyan, green, and red and underwent sorting between coral groups. Among the newly cloned proteins are a "chromo-red" color type from Echinopora forskaliana (family Faviidae and pink chromoprotein from Stylophora pistillata (Pocilloporidae, both evolving independently from the rest of coral chromoproteins. There are several cyan FPs that possess a novel kind of excitation spectrum indicating a neutral chromophore ground state, for which the residue E167 is responsible (numeration according to GFP from A. victoria. The chromoprotein from Acropora millepora is an unusual blue instead of purple, which is due to two mutations: S64C and S183T. We applied a novel probabilistic sampling approach to recreate the common ancestor of all coral FPs as well as the more derived common ancestor of three main fluorescent colors of the Faviina suborder. Both proteins were green such as found elsewhere outside class Anthozoa. Interestingly, a substantial fraction of the all-coral ancestral protein had a chromohore apparently locked in a non-fluorescent neutral state, which may reflect the transitional stage that enabled rapid color diversification early in the history of coral FPs. Our results highlight the extent of convergent or parallel evolution of the color diversity in corals, provide the foundation for experimental studies of evolutionary processes that led to color diversification, and enable a comparative analysis of

  16. The skeletal proteome of the coral Acropora millepora: the evolution of calcification by co-option and domain shuffling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Silva, Paula; Kaandorp, Jaap; Huisman, Lotte; Marie, Benjamin; Zanella-Cléon, Isabelle; Guichard, Nathalie; Miller, David J; Marin, Frédéric

    2013-09-01

    In corals, biocalcification is a major function that may be drastically affected by ocean acidification (OA). Scleractinian corals grow by building up aragonitic exoskeletons that provide support and protection for soft tissues. Although this process has been extensively studied, the molecular basis of biocalcification is poorly understood. Notably lacking is a comprehensive catalog of the skeleton-occluded proteins-the skeletal organic matrix proteins (SOMPs) that are thought to regulate the mineral deposition. Using a combination of proteomics and transcriptomics, we report the first survey of such proteins in the staghorn coral Acropora millepora. The organic matrix (OM) extracted from the coral skeleton was analyzed by mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, enabling the identification of 36 SOMPs. These results provide novel insights into the molecular basis of coral calcification and the macroevolution of metazoan calcifying systems, whereas establishing a platform for studying the impact of OA at molecular level. Besides secreted proteins, extracellular regions of transmembrane proteins are also present, suggesting a close control of aragonite deposition by the calicoblastic epithelium. In addition to the expected SOMPs (Asp/Glu-rich, galaxins), the skeletal repertoire included several proteins containing known extracellular matrix domains. From an evolutionary perspective, the number of coral-specific proteins is low, many SOMPs having counterparts in the noncalcifying cnidarians. Extending the comparison with the skeletal OM proteomes of other metazoans allowed the identification of a pool of functional domains shared between phyla. These data suggest that co-option and domain shuffling may be general mechanisms by which the trait of calcification has evolved.

  17. The Skeletal Proteome of the Coral Acropora millepora: The Evolution of Calcification by Co-Option and Domain Shuffling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Silva, Paula; Kaandorp, Jaap; Huisman, Lotte; Marie, Benjamin; Zanella-Cléon, Isabelle; Guichard, Nathalie; Miller, David J.; Marin, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    In corals, biocalcification is a major function that may be drastically affected by ocean acidification (OA). Scleractinian corals grow by building up aragonitic exoskeletons that provide support and protection for soft tissues. Although this process has been extensively studied, the molecular basis of biocalcification is poorly understood. Notably lacking is a comprehensive catalog of the skeleton-occluded proteins—the skeletal organic matrix proteins (SOMPs) that are thought to regulate the mineral deposition. Using a combination of proteomics and transcriptomics, we report the first survey of such proteins in the staghorn coral Acropora millepora. The organic matrix (OM) extracted from the coral skeleton was analyzed by mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, enabling the identification of 36 SOMPs. These results provide novel insights into the molecular basis of coral calcification and the macroevolution of metazoan calcifying systems, whereas establishing a platform for studying the impact of OA at molecular level. Besides secreted proteins, extracellular regions of transmembrane proteins are also present, suggesting a close control of aragonite deposition by the calicoblastic epithelium. In addition to the expected SOMPs (Asp/Glu-rich, galaxins), the skeletal repertoire included several proteins containing known extracellular matrix domains. From an evolutionary perspective, the number of coral-specific proteins is low, many SOMPs having counterparts in the noncalcifying cnidarians. Extending the comparison with the skeletal OM proteomes of other metazoans allowed the identification of a pool of functional domains shared between phyla. These data suggest that co-option and domain shuffling may be general mechanisms by which the trait of calcification has evolved. PMID:23765379

  18. ‘Peer pressure’ in larval Drosophila?

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas Niewalda; Ines Jeske; Birgit Michels; Bertram Gerber

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Understanding social behaviour requires a study case that is simple enough to be tractable, yet complex enough to remain interesting. Do larval Drosophila meet these requirements? In a broad sense, this question can refer to effects of the mere presence of other larvae on the behaviour of a target individual. Here we focused in a more strict sense on ‘peer pressure’, that is on the question of whether the behaviour of a target individual larva is affected by what a surrounding group ...

  19. Microhabitat influence on larval fish assemblages within ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined larval and juvenile fish assemblage structure in relation to microhabitat variables within the St. Louis River estuary, a drowned river mouth of Lake Superior. Fish were sampled in vegetated beds throughout the estuary, across a gradient of vegetation types and densities (including disturbed, preserved and post-restoration sites). Canonical correspondence analysis, relating species abundances to environmental variables revealed that plant species richness, turbidity and aquatic plant cover were most influential in structuring assemblages. Results from this microhabitat analysis at this crucial life stage has potential to inform wetland restoration efforts within the St. Louis River and other Great Lake coastal wetlands. not applicable

  20. Larval morphology of Metaphycus flavus and its role in host attachment and larval cannibalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tena, A; Kapranas, A; Walker, G P; Garcia-Marí, F; Luck, R F

    2011-06-01

    Metaphycus flavus (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is a facultatively gregarious endoparasitoid of soft scales (Hemiptera: Coccidae). When it develops in superparasitised hosts, the larvae often attack and consume brood mates six or more days post oviposition. Under our laboratory conditions (25±1°C and 14 hours of light followed by 18±1°C and ten hours of darkness in 50-70% R.H.), M. flavus eggs hatched three days after oviposition. Measurements of the mandibles and tentorium indicate there are four larval instars, and M. flavus reaches the fourth instar by day six post oviposition, and pupates on day eight. Thus, cannibalism among M. flavus larvae occurs during the fourth instar. During this instar, M. flavus larvae separate from their attachment to the scale cuticle, to which they were tethered by a respiratory structure during the previous three larval instars. Once detached, they are free to move within the scale, which increases the probability of larval encounters and aggressive behaviours. Moreover, the mandibles of the fourth instar are better adapted for fighting than are those of the first three larval instars, since they are larger and more sclerotized. The cranium and mouthparts of M. flavus have four different types of sensory organs, some of which are almost certainly olfactory, an unexpected function for a larva that presumably is surrounded by an aqueous medium where gustatory sensilla would seem to be more appropriate. The cranium also bears two pairs of what appear to be secretory pores.

  1. The acute transcriptional response of the coral Acropora millepora to immune challenge: expression of GiMAP/IAN genes links the innate immune responses of corals with those of mammals and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Yvonne; Forêt, Sylvain; Hayward, David C; Ainsworth, Tracy; King, Rob; Ball, Eldon E; Miller, David J

    2013-06-14

    As a step towards understanding coral immunity we present the first whole transcriptome analysis of the acute responses of Acropora millepora to challenge with the bacterial cell wall derivative MDP and the viral mimic poly I:C, defined immunogens provoking distinct but well characterised responses in higher animals. These experiments reveal similarities with the responses both of arthropods and mammals, as well as coral-specific effects. The most surprising finding was that MDP specifically induced three members of the GiMAP gene family, which has been implicated in immunity in mammals but is absent from Drosophila and Caenorhabditis. Like their mammalian homologs, GiMAP genes are arranged in a tandem cluster in the coral genome. A phylogenomic survey of this gene family implies ancient origins, multiple independent losses and lineage-specific expansions during animal evolution. Whilst functional convergence cannot be ruled out, GiMAP expression in corals may reflect an ancestral role in immunity, perhaps in phagolysosomal processing.

  2. Phylogeography and limited genetic connectivity in the endangered boring giant clam across the Coral Triangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBoer, Timery S; Subia, Matthew D; Erdmann, Mark V; Kovitvongsa, Katie; Barber, Paul H

    2008-10-01

    The Coral Triangle is the global center of marine biodiversity; however, its coral reefs are critically threatened. Because of the bipartite life history of many marine species with sedentary adults and dispersive pelagic larvae, designing effective marine protected areas requires an understanding of patterns of larval dispersal and connectivity among geographically discrete populations. We used mtDNA sequence data to examine patterns of genetic connectivity in the boring giant clam (Tridacna crocea) in an effort to guide conservation efforts within the Coral Triangle. We collected an approximately 485 base pair fragment of mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase 1 (CO1) from 414 individuals at 26 sites across Indonesia. Genetic structure was strong between regions (phi(ST)=0.549, p < 0.00001) with 3 strongly supported clades: one restricted to western Sumatra, another distributed across central Indonesia, and a third limited to eastern Indonesia and Papua. Even within the single largest clade, small but significant genetic structure was documented (phi(ST)=0.069, p < 0.00001), which indicates limited gene flow within and among phylogeographic regions. Significant patterns of isolation by distance indicated an average dispersal distance of only 25-50 km, which is far below dispersal predictions of 406-708 km derived from estimates of passive dispersal over 10 days via surface currents. The strong regional genetic structure we found indicates potent limits to genetic and demographic connectivity for this species throughout the Coral Triangle and provides a regional context for conservation planning. The recovery of 3 distinct evolutionarily significant units within a well-studied taxonomic group suggests that biodiversity in this region may be significantly underestimated and that Tridacna taxa may be more endangered than currently recognized.

  3. Genetic diversity and connectivity in the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis in Florida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M Hemond

    Full Text Available Over the past three decades, populations of the dominant shallow water Caribbean corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have been devastated by white-band disease (WBD, resulting in the listing of both species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. A key to conserving these threatened corals is understanding how their populations are genetically interconnected throughout the greater Caribbean. Genetic research has demonstrated that gene flow is regionally restricted across the Caribbean in both species. Yet, despite being an important site of coral reef research, little genetic data has been available for the Florida Acropora, especially for the staghorn coral, A. cervicornis. In this study, we present new mitochondrial DNA sequence data from 52 A. cervicornis individuals from 22 sites spread across the upper and lower Florida Keys, which suggest that Florida's A. cervicornis populations are highly genetically interconnected (F(ST = -0.081. Comparison between Florida and existing mtDNA data from six regional Caribbean populations indicates that Florida possesses high levels of standing genetic diversity (h = 0.824 relative to the rest of the greater Caribbean (h = 0.701+/-0.043. We find that the contemporary level of gene flow across the greater Caribbean, including Florida, is restricted (Phi(CT = 0.117, but evidence from shared haplotypes suggests the Western Caribbean has historically been a source of genetic variation for Florida. Despite the current patchiness of A. cervicornis in Florida, the relatively high genetic diversity and connectivity within Florida suggest that this population may have sufficient genetic variation to be viable and resilient to environmental perturbation and disease. Limited genetic exchange across regional populations of the greater Caribbean, including Florida, indicates that conservation efforts for A. cervicornis should focus on maintaining and managing populations locally rather than

  4. Genetic diversity and connectivity in the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemond, Elizabeth M; Vollmer, Steven V

    2010-01-11

    Over the past three decades, populations of the dominant shallow water Caribbean corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have been devastated by white-band disease (WBD), resulting in the listing of both species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. A key to conserving these threatened corals is understanding how their populations are genetically interconnected throughout the greater Caribbean. Genetic research has demonstrated that gene flow is regionally restricted across the Caribbean in both species. Yet, despite being an important site of coral reef research, little genetic data has been available for the Florida Acropora, especially for the staghorn coral, A. cervicornis. In this study, we present new mitochondrial DNA sequence data from 52 A. cervicornis individuals from 22 sites spread across the upper and lower Florida Keys, which suggest that Florida's A. cervicornis populations are highly genetically interconnected (F(ST) = -0.081). Comparison between Florida and existing mtDNA data from six regional Caribbean populations indicates that Florida possesses high levels of standing genetic diversity (h = 0.824) relative to the rest of the greater Caribbean (h = 0.701+/-0.043). We find that the contemporary level of gene flow across the greater Caribbean, including Florida, is restricted (Phi(CT) = 0.117), but evidence from shared haplotypes suggests the Western Caribbean has historically been a source of genetic variation for Florida. Despite the current patchiness of A. cervicornis in Florida, the relatively high genetic diversity and connectivity within Florida suggest that this population may have sufficient genetic variation to be viable and resilient to environmental perturbation and disease. Limited genetic exchange across regional populations of the greater Caribbean, including Florida, indicates that conservation efforts for A. cervicornis should focus on maintaining and managing populations locally rather than relying on larval

  5. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Marhaver, K.L.; Huijbers, C.M.; Nagelkerken, I.; Simpson, S.D.

    2010-01-01

    Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (<1 mm) that influence settlement success are difficult to

  6. CORAL REEF BIOLOGICAL CRITERIA: USING THE CLEAN ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs are declining at unprecedented rates worldwide due to multiple interactive stressors including climate change and land-based sources of pollution. The Clean Water Act (CWA) can be a powerful legal instrument for protecting water resources, including the biological inhabitants of coral reefs. The objective of the CWA is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of water resources. Coral reef protection and restoration under the Clean Water Act begins with water quality standards - provisions of state or Federal law that consist of a designated use(s) for the waters of the United States and water quality criteria sufficient to protect the uses. Aquatic life use is the designated use that is measured by biological criteria (biocriteria). Biocriteria are expectations set by a jurisdiction for the quality and quantity of living aquatic resources in a defined waterbody. Biocriteria are an important addition to existing management tools for coral reef ecosystems. The Technical Support Document “Coral Reef Biological Criteria: Using the Clean Water Act to Protect a National Treasure” will provide a framework to aid States and Territories in their development, adoption, and implementation of coral reef biocriteria in their respective water quality standards. The Technical Support Document “Coral Reef Biological Criteria: Using the Clean Water Act to Protect a National Treasure” will provide a framework for coral re

  7. Corals as bioindicators of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinn, Eugene A.

    2008-01-01

    Potential effects of climate change and ocean acidification have energized much discussion among coral scientists, especially biologists. Will corals go extinct, lose their skeletons, or migrate pole-ward to cooler waters? No one knows, but some simple experiments, recent observations, and recent studies may shed some light on these questions. Above all they show the need for collaboration among biologists and geologists.

  8. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Marhaver, K.L.; Huijbers, C.M.; Nagelkerken, I.; Simpson, S.D.

    2010-01-01

    Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (<1 mm) that influence settlement success are difficult to ob

  9. 78 FR 67128 - Coral Reef Conservation Program; Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-08

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program; Meeting AGENCY: Coral Reef... of public comment. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of a public meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task... to do so. Established by Presidential Executive Order 13089 in 1998, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force...

  10. Coral aquaculture: applying scientific knowledge to ex situ production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leal, M.C.; Ferrier-Pagès, C.; Petersen, D.; Osinga, R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral aquaculture is an activity of growing interest due to the degradation of coral reefs worldwide and concomitant growing demand for corals by three industries: marine ornamental trade, pharmaceutical industry and reef restoration. Although captive breeding and propagation of corals is a well-kno

  11. Coral aquaculture: applying scientific knowledge to ex situ production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leal, M.C.; Ferrier-Pagès, C.; Petersen, D.; Osinga, R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral aquaculture is an activity of growing interest due to the degradation of coral reefs worldwide and concomitant growing demand for corals by three industries: marine ornamental trade, pharmaceutical industry and reef restoration. Although captive breeding and propagation of corals is a

  12. Valuable lessons-learned in transcriptomics experimentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruning, Oskar; Rauwerda, Han; Dekker, Rob J; de Leeuw, Wim C; Wackers, Paul F K; Ensink, Wim A; Jonker, Martijs J; Breit, Timo M

    2015-01-01

    We have collected several valuable lessons that will help improve transcriptomics experimentation. These lessons relate to experiment design, execution, and analysis. The cautions, but also the pointers, may help biologists avoid common pitfalls in transcriptomics experimentation and achieve better results with their transcriptome studies.

  13. Ocean acidification reduces induction of coral settlement by crustose coralline algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Nicole S; Uthicke, Sven; Botté, Emanuelle S; Flores, Florita; Negri, Andrew P

    2013-01-01

    Crustose coralline algae (CCA) are a critical component of coral reefs as they accrete carbonate for reef structure and act as settlement substrata for many invertebrates including corals. CCA host a diversity of microorganisms that can also play a role in coral settlement and metamorphosis processes. Although the sensitivity of CCA to ocean acidification (OA) is well established, the response of their associated microbial communities to reduced pH and increased CO2 was previously not known. Here we investigate the sensitivity of CCA-associated microbial biofilms to OA and determine whether or not OA adversely affects the ability of CCA to induce coral larval metamorphosis. We experimentally exposed the CCA Hydrolithon onkodes to four pH/pCO2 conditions consistent with current IPCC predictions for the next few centuries (pH: 8.1, 7.9, 7.7, 7.5, pCO2 : 464, 822, 1187, 1638 μatm). Settlement and metamorphosis of coral larvae was reduced on CCA pre-exposed to pH 7.7 (pCO2  = 1187 μatm) and below over a 6-week period. Additional experiments demonstrated that low pH treatments did not directly affect the ability of larvae to settle, but instead most likely altered the biochemistry of the CCA or its microbial associates. Detailed microbial community analysis of the CCA revealed diverse bacterial assemblages that altered significantly between pH 8.1 (pCO2  = 464 μatm) and pH 7.9 (pCO2  = 822 μatm) with this trend continuing at lower pH/higher pCO2 treatments. The shift in microbial community composition primarily comprised changes in the abundance of the dominant microbes between the different pH treatments and the appearance of new (but rare) microbes at pH 7.5. Microbial shifts and the concomitant reduced ability of CCA to induce coral settlement under OA conditions projected to occur by 2100 is a significant concern for the development, maintenance and recovery of reefs globally.

  14. Characterizing Magnetic Properties in Belize Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbalejo, A. A.; Bhattacharya, A.; Gee, J. S.; Mitra, R.; Carilli, J.; Hangsterfer, A.; Feinberg, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    Measurements of magnetic remanence and characterization of magnetic phases are widely applied to environmental and climate studies; however, magnetic tools have not been widely applied to coral studies. As such, there is a deficit in our understanding of magnetic materials and behavior in coral skeletons and consequently, of processes by which magnetic materials may get incorporated into coral skeletons. In this study, we present magnetic measurements conducted on freshly broken chips from coral cores; the cores were collected from Mesoamerican sites in Belize. Trace, minor, and major element concentration has been well studied in these two coral cores, using inductively coupled mass spectrometric techniques (ICP-MS). The goal of our current research is to determine are as follows: (a) Is there is a viable magnetic signal that can be obtained from measuring chips broken off of coral skeletons? (b) What are some of the dominant magnetic behaviors? (c) What are the carrier phases of magnetic material? (c) can we determine possible variations in the type and quantity of magnetic materials over time and ultimately, (e) can magnetic fingerprinting of corals can be used as tracers of environmental, climate or biological processes? Here, we present preliminary magnetic remanence measurements (IRM and double IRM) from the two coral cores collected from Belize and dating back to the mid 1800s. Early results using freshly broken chips from both coral cores indicate a magnetite-like soft magnetic component during IRM experiments. Double-IRM experiments on the same samples indicate uniaxial single domain behavior. Furthermore, SEM images suggest that the magnetic carrier phase could likely be magnetite. We will also present comparisons of our magnetic data with newly collected X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) data on the same coral cores. The goal is to properly characterize the type of magnetic signals and determine possible environmental and/or biological impacts on magnetic carrier

  15. 76 FR 66273 - Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-26

    ... Atlantic States and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY... conditions, various species of reef fish and live rock in Federal waters off North Carolina. The specimens... Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and the FMP for Coral, Coral...

  16. Climate-driven coral reorganisation influences aggressive behaviour in juvenile coral-reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Judith E.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.

    2016-06-01

    Globally, habitat degradation is altering the abundance and diversity of species in a variety of ecosystems. This study aimed to determine how habitat degradation, in terms of changing coral composition under climate change, affected abundance, species richness and aggressive behaviour of juveniles of three damselfishes ( Pomacentrus moluccensis, P. amboinensis and Dischistodus perspicillatus, in order of decreasing reliance on coral). Patch reefs were constructed to simulate two types of reefs: present-day reefs that are vulnerable to climate-induced coral bleaching, and reefs with more bleaching-robust coral taxa, thereby simulating the likely future of coral reefs under a warming climate. Fish communities were allowed to establish naturally on the reefs during the summer recruitment period. Climate-robust reefs had lower total species richness of coral-reef fishes than climate-vulnerable reefs, but total fish abundance was not significantly different between reef types (pooled across all species and life-history stages). The nature of aggressive interactions, measured as the number of aggressive chases, varied according to coral composition; on climate-robust reefs, juveniles used the substratum less often to avoid aggression from competitors, and interspecific aggression became relatively more frequent than intraspecific aggression for juveniles of the coral-obligate P. moluccensis. This study highlights the importance of coral composition as a determinant of behaviour and diversity of coral-reef fishes.

  17. Phylogeography and the conservation of coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, L. A.; Craig, M. T.; Bowen, B. W.

    2007-09-01

    Here we present a review of how the study of the geographic distribution of genetic lineages (phylogeography) has helped identify management units, evolutionary significant units, cryptic species, and areas of endemism, and how this information can help efforts to achieve effective conservation of coral reefs. These studies have confirmed the major biogeographic barriers that were originally identified by tropical species distributions. Ancient separations, identified primarily with mtDNA sequence comparisons, became apparent between populations on each side of the barriers. The general lack of correlation between pelagic larval duration and genetic connectivity across barriers indicates that life history and ecology can be as influential as oceanography and geography in shaping evolutionary partitions within ocean basins. Hence, conservation strategies require a recognition of ecological hotspots, those areas where habitat heterogeneity promotes speciation, in addition to more traditional approaches based on biogeography. Finally, the emerging field of genomics will add a new dimension to phylogeography, allowing the study of genes that are pertinent to recent and ongoing differentiation, and ultimately providing higher resolution to detect evolutionary significant units that have diverged in an ecological time scale.

  18. Evidence for a role of viruses in the thermal sensitivity of coral photosymbionts

    KAUST Repository

    Levin, Rachel Ashley

    2016-12-02

    Symbiodinium, the dinoflagellate photosymbiont of corals, is posited to become more susceptible to viral infections when heat-stressed. To investigate this hypothesis, we mined transcriptome data of a thermosensitive and a thermotolerant type C1 Symbiodinium population at ambient (27 °C) and elevated (32°C) temperatures. We uncovered hundreds of transcripts from nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA viruses (NCLDVs) and the genome of a novel positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus (+ssRNAV). In the transcriptome of the thermosensitive population only, +ssRNAV transcripts had remarkable expression levels in the top 0.03% of all transcripts at 27 °C, but at 32 °C, expression levels of +ssRNAV transcripts decreased, while expression levels of anti-viral transcripts increased. In both transcriptomes, expression of NCLDV transcripts increased at 32 °C, but thermal induction of NCLDV transcripts involved in DNA manipulation was restricted to the thermosensitive population. Our findings reveal that viruses infecting Symbiodinium are affected by heat stress and may contribute to Symbiodinium thermal sensitivity.

  19. Larval development of Evermannia zosterura (Perciformes: Gobiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Navarro, Enrique; Saldierna-Martínez, Ricardo Javier; Aceves-Medina, Gerardo

    2014-06-01

    Gobiidae is the most specious fish family in the world with almost 2 000 species, however only 11% of them have been described for their larval stages. The entire life cycle information is essential to understand the biology and ecology of this important fish group. Previous studies on zooplankton samples from Ensenada de La Paz, México, have shown the presence of several Gobiidae larvae and juveniles which were identified as Evermania zosterura. The main objective of this work was to describe the larval stages of this species, widely distributed in the Eastern tropical Pacific. The development of E. zosterura larvae was described based on 66 specimens. A total of 53 specimens were used to describe morphometrics and pigmentation patterns, while 13 specimens were cleared and stained, to obtain meristic characteristics. Cleared specimens had 30 to 31 total vertebrae; dorsal-fin elements: IV; 1, 13-14, anal-fin elements: 1, 13-14, and most had pterygiophore formula 4-111100. The combination of these characteristics confirmed these specimens as E. zosterura. The pigment pattern is similar throughout ontogeny. Larvae are characterized by having three to five dendritic melanophores along the post-anal ventral margin, four to nine smaller melanophores along the ventral margin between the isthmus and anus, and one on the midpoint of the dorsal margin of the tail. There is one small pigment spot on the angle of the jaw, and other on the tip of lower lip. There is an elongated internal pigment under the notochord, between the head and gas bladder. Notochord flexion starts near 3.5mm BL and ends at 4.6mm BL; transformalion to the juvenile stage is at about 13.6mm BL. Our conclusion is that the most useful characters to distinguish this species early-larval stages from those of similar species in the area, are the number of myomeres, the large melanophores (approximately uniformly in size) on the post anal ventral margin, and the elongate internal pigment under the notochord

  20. Carbonate mound evolution and coral diagenesis viewed by U-series dating of deep water corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, N.; Ricard, E.; Blamart, D.; van der Land, C.; Colin, C.; Foubert, A.; van Rooij, D.; van Weering, T.

    2007-12-01

    U-series dating of constructional deep sea corals is a powerful tool to reconstruct the evolution of carbonate mound sediments driven by coral growth, sediment trapping and diagenesis. Here we have investigated in great detail the time framework of constructional corals such as L. pertusa and M. oculata on 5 different mounds of the eastern North Atlantic (on Rockall Bank and in Porcupine Seabight) taken at variable depth and location (610 to 880m water depth). Periods favorable for coral growth are the Holocene and prior interglacials such as marine isotope stage 5 and 7, while glacial coral growth seems inhibited or extremely reduced. Coral development is almost continuous throughout the Holocene since mound re-colonization about 10,500 years ago. Mound accumulation rates vary between 20 and 220 cm/kyr determined from the coral age - depth relationship in each core. Those changes are most likely driven by changes between horizontal and vertical mound accumulation, food supply and ocean circulation. In addition, coral dating allowed to identify an important erosional event recorded in core MD01-2455G from Rockall Bank. Here a 1m thick sediment layer containing ancient corals likely from the start of Holocene re-colonization was displaced (collapsed) from further upslope on top of younger corals of ~2500 to 3000 years age. Prior to the initiation of coral growth diagenesis occurred frequently resulting in (1) the construction of so called carbonate hardgrounds and/or (2) the dissolution of the pre-Holocene coral framework. Solely, the deepest selected core in Porcupine Seabight (MD01-2463G at 880m depth) reveals coral re-colonization on an undisturbed ancient reef structure that dates back to 250,000 years. Diagenesis of earlier coral reef generations leading to coral dissolution leads to a loss of magnetic susceptibility and open system behavior of the coral skeletons with respect to U-series dating. While the processes causing such diagenetic layers are barely

  1. Turbulence-enhanced prey encounter rates in larval fish : Effects of spatial scale, larval behaviour and size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; MacKenzie, Brian

    1995-01-01

    Turbulent water motion has several effects on the feeding ecology of larval fish and other planktivorous predators. In this paper, we consider the appropriate spatial scales for estimating relative velocities between larval fish predators and their prey, and the effect that different choices...

  2. Sandeel ( Ammodytes marinus ) larval transport patterns in the North Sea from an individual-based hydrodynamic egg and larval model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Asbjørn; Jensen, Henrik; Mosegaard, Henrik

    2008-01-01

    is modelled by a stochastic, nonlinear degree-day model describing the extended hatch period. The larval growth model is parameterized by individually back-tracking the local physical environment of larval survivors from their catch location and catch time. Using a detailed map of sandeel habitats...

  3. De Novo Assembly and Characterization of Four Anthozoan (Phylum Cnidaria) Transcriptomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Sheila A; Crowder, Camerron M; Poole, Angela Z; Weis, Virginia M; Meyer, Eli

    2015-09-17

    Many nonmodel species exemplify important biological questions but lack the sequence resources required to study the genes and genomic regions underlying traits of interest. Reef-building corals are famously sensitive to rising seawater temperatures, motivating ongoing research into their stress responses and long-term prospects in a changing climate. A comprehensive understanding of these processes will require extending beyond the sequenced coral genome (Acropora digitifera) to encompass diverse coral species and related anthozoans. Toward that end, we have assembled and annotated reference transcriptomes to develop catalogs of gene sequences for three scleractinian corals (Fungia scutaria, Montastraea cavernosa, Seriatopora hystrix) and a temperate anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima). High-throughput sequencing of cDNA libraries produced ~20-30 million reads per sample, and de novo assembly of these reads produced ~75,000-110,000 transcripts from each sample with size distributions (mean ~1.4 kb, N50 ~2 kb), comparable to the distribution of gene models from the coral genome (mean ~1.7 kb, N50 ~2.2 kb). Each assembly includes matches for more than half the gene models from A. digitifera (54-67%) and many reasonably complete transcripts (~5300-6700) spanning nearly the entire gene (ortholog hit ratios ≥0.75). The catalogs of gene sequences developed in this study made it possible to identify hundreds to thousands of orthologs across diverse scleractinian species and related taxa. We used these sequences for phylogenetic inference, recovering known relationships and demonstrating superior performance over phylogenetic trees constructed using single mitochondrial loci. The resources developed in this study provide gene sequences and genetic markers for several anthozoan species. To enhance the utility of these resources for the research community, we developed searchable databases enabling researchers to rapidly recover sequences for genes of interest. Our

  4. Metagenomic and ecophysiological analysis of biofilms colonizing coral substrates: "Life after death of coral"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, A., Sr.; Cerqueda-Garcia, D.; Falcón, L. I.; Iglesias-Prieto, R., Sr.

    2015-12-01

    Coral reefs are the most productive ecosystems on the planet and are the most important carbonated structures of biological origin. However, global warming is affecting the health and functionality of these ecosystems. Specifically, most of the Acropora sp. stony corals have declined their population all over the Mexican Caribbean in more than ~80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. When the coral dies, the skeleton begins to be colonized by algae, sponges, bacteria and others, forming a highly diverse biofilm. We analyzed the metagenomes of the dead A. palmata rubbles from Puerto Morelos, in the Mexican Caribbean. Also, we quantified the elemental composition of biomass and measured nitrogen fixation and emission of greenhouse gases over 24 hrs. This works provides information on how the community is composed and functions after the death of the coral, visualizing a possible picture for a world without coral reefs.

  5. Arnfried Antonius, coral diseases, and the AMLC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurie L. Richardson

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The study of coral diseases, coral pathogens, and the effects of diseases on tropical and subtropical coral reefs are all current, high-profile research areas. This interest has grown steadily since the first report of a coral disease in 1973. The author of this report was Arnfried Antonius and the publication was an abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, or AMLC (then known as the Association of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean. Since Antonius’ pioneering communication he continued working on coral diseases on reefs throughout the world, often documenting the first observation of a novel pathology in a novel location. Each of the coral diseases Antonius first described, in particular black band disease, is the subject of current and ongoing investigations addressing pathogens, etiology, and their effects on coral reefs. Many of the points and observations he made in his early papers are highly relevant to research today. This paper reviews aspects of Antonius’ early work, highlighting contributions he made that include the first in situ experimental studies aimed at discerning coral epizootiology and the first quantitative assessments of the role of environmental factors in coral disease. Antonius’ early findings are discussed in terms of relevant current controversies in this research areaEl estudio de las enfermedades de los corales, los patogenos de los corales y los efectos de estas enfermedades sobre los arrecifes tropicales y subtropicales son actualmente areas importantes de investigacion. El interés en este tema ha crecido continuamente desde el primer informe sobre una enfermedad de coral que se publico en 1973. El autor de este informe fue Arnfried Antonius y la publicacion fue un resumen en el Libro de Programa y Resumenes de la Decima Reunion de la Asociacion de Laboratorios Marinos Islenos del Caribe (conocida ahora como la Asociacion de

  6. Coastal pollution limits pelagic larval dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puritz, Jonathan B; Toonen, Robert J

    2011-01-01

    The ecological impact of large coastal human populations on marine ecosystems remains relatively unknown. Here, we examine the population structure of Patiria miniata, the bat star, and correlate genetic distances with a model based on flow rates and proximity to P. miniata populations for the four major stormwater runoff and wastewater effluent sources of the Southern California Bight. We show that overall genetic connectivity is high (F(ST)~0.005); however, multivariate analyses show that genetic structure is highly correlated with anthropogenic inputs. The best models included both stormwater and wastewater variables and explained between 26.55 and 93.69% of the observed structure. Additionally, regressions between allelic richness and distance to sources show that populations near anthropogenic pollution have reduced genetic diversity. Our results indicate that anthropogenic runoff and effluent are acting as barriers to larval dispersal, effectively isolating a high gene flow species that is virtually free of direct human impact.

  7. Modelling larval movement data from individual bioassays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLellan, Chris R; Worton, Bruce J; Deasy, William; Birch, A Nicholas E

    2015-05-01

    We consider modelling the movements of larvae using individual bioassays in which data are collected at a high-frequency rate of five observations per second. The aim is to characterize the behaviour of the larvae when exposed to attractant and repellent compounds. Mixtures of diffusion processes, as well as Hidden Markov models, are proposed as models of larval movement. These models account for directed and localized movements, and successfully distinguish between the behaviour of larvae exposed to attractant and repellent compounds. A simulation study illustrates the advantage of using a Hidden Markov model rather than a simpler mixture model. Practical aspects of model estimation and inference are considered on extensive data collected in a study of novel approaches for the management of cabbage root fly.

  8. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark J A Vermeij

    Full Text Available Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (<1 mm that influence settlement success are difficult to observe in situ and are therefore largely unknown. Here, we show that coral larvae respond to acoustic cues that may facilitate detection of habitat from large distances and from upcurrent of preferred settlement locations. Using in situ choice chambers, we found that settling coral larvae were attracted to reef sounds, produced mainly by fish and crustaceans, which we broadcast underwater using loudspeakers. Our discovery that coral larvae can detect and respond to sound is the first description of an auditory response in the invertebrate phylum Cnidaria, which includes jellyfish, anemones, and hydroids as well as corals. If, like settlement-stage reef fish and crustaceans, coral larvae use reef noise as a cue for orientation, the alleviation of noise pollution in the marine environment may gain further urgency.

  9. Generating viral metagenomes from the coral holobiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Dawn Weynberg

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Reef-building corals comprise multipartite symbioses where the cnidarian animal is host to an array of eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, and the viruses that infect them. These viruses are critical elements of the coral holobiont, serving not only as agents of mortality, but also as potential vectors for lateral gene flow, and as elements encoding a variety of auxiliary metabolic functions. Consequently, understanding the functioning and health of the coral holobiont requires detailed knowledge of the associated viral assemblage and its function. Currently, the most tractable way of uncovering viral diversity and function is through metagenomic approaches, which is inherently difficult in corals because of the complex holobiont community, an extracellular mucus layer that all corals secrete, and the variety of sizes and structures of nucleic acids found in viruses. Here we present the first protocol for isolating, purifying and amplifying viral nucleic acids from corals based on mechanical disruption of cells. This method produces at least 50% higher yields of viral nucleic acids, has very low levels of cellular sequence contamination and captures wider viral diversity than previously used chemical-based extraction methods. We demonstrate that our mechanical-based method profiles a greater diversity of DNA and RNA genomes, including virus groups such as Retro-transcribing and ssRNA viruses, which are absent from metagenomes generated via chemical-based methods. In addition, we briefly present (and make publically available the first paired DNA and RNA viral metagenomes from the coral Acropora tenuis.

  10. The Larval Stage of Echinococcus Granulosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Sokouti

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the life cycle of Echinococcus granulosus, eggs of the parasite cannot mature into adult worms without first passing through the larval stage. Regarding the fact that this stage cannot take place in the definitive host, the eggs must look for an intermediate host, such as humans which are considered accidental intermediate hosts, in order to undergo their vital metamorphosis. In the upper gastrointestinal tract of the intermediate host, including humans (but not that of definitive host, the outer chitinous shells of the hexacanth embryos become lysed, enabling the embryos to penetrate the mucosa of the duodenum and upper jejunum to enter mesentric venule and be carried in the portal stream to the liver. Theoretically, a few of the embryos can enter the lymphatics of the intestinal wall and bypassing the liver through the cisterna chyli (1-3. It is believed that the larger amount of deoxycholic acid in the bile of herbivores and humans conjugated principally with glycine is responsible for lysis of the larva‘s protective center cuticle. On the other hand bile salts of carnivores such as dog are relatively poor in deoxy cholic acid which is linked with urine and have no effect on the cuticle of the larvae, which remain in the bowel lumen and developing into adult worms. Thus unlike what is mostly believed, humans do not serve as definitive hosts for the parasite; yet they carry only the larval forms which later penetrate into the villi of small bowel and form hydatid cyst in any organ of body (4-6.

  11. Mosquito larval source management for controlling malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tusting, Lucy S; Thwing, Julie; Sinclair, David; Fillinger, Ulrike; Gimnig, John; Bonner, Kimberly E; Bottomley, Christian; Lindsay, Steven W

    2013-08-29

    Malaria is an important cause of illness and death in people living in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) reduce malaria transmission by targeting the adult mosquito vector and are key components of malaria control programmes. However, mosquito numbers may also be reduced by larval source management (LSM), which targets mosquito larvae as they mature in aquatic habitats. This is conducted by permanently or temporarily reducing the availability of larval habitats (habitat modification and habitat manipulation), or by adding substances to standing water that either kill or inhibit the development of larvae (larviciding). To evaluate the effectiveness of mosquito LSM for preventing malaria. We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE; EMBASE; CABS Abstracts; and LILACS up to 24 October 2012. We handsearched the Tropical Diseases Bulletin from 1900 to 2010, the archives of the World Health Organization (up to 11 February 2011), and the literature database of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (up to 2 March 2011). We also contacted colleagues in the field for relevant articles. We included cluster randomized controlled trials (cluster-RCTs), controlled before-and-after trials with at least one year of baseline data, and randomized cross-over trials that compared LSM with no LSM for malaria control. We excluded trials that evaluated biological control of anopheline mosquitoes with larvivorous fish. At least two authors assessed each trial for eligibility. We extracted data and at least two authors independently determined the risk of bias in the included studies. We resolved all disagreements through discussion with a third author. We analyzed the data using Review Manager 5 software. We included 13 studies; four cluster-RCTs, eight controlled before

  12. Mosquito larval source management for controlling malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tusting, Lucy S; Thwing, Julie; Sinclair, David; Fillinger, Ulrike; Gimnig, John; Bonner, Kimberly E; Bottomley, Christian; Lindsay, Steven W

    2015-01-01

    Background Malaria is an important cause of illness and death in people living in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) reduce malaria transmission by targeting the adult mosquito vector and are key components of malaria control programmes. However, mosquito numbers may also be reduced by larval source management (LSM), which targets mosquito larvae as they mature in aquatic habitats. This is conducted by permanently or temporarily reducing the availability of larval habitats (habitat modification and habitat manipulation), or by adding substances to standing water that either kill or inhibit the development of larvae (larviciding). Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of mosquito LSM for preventing malaria. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE; EMBASE; CABS Abstracts; and LILACS up to 24 October 2012. We handsearched the Tropical Diseases Bulletin from 1900 to 2010, the archives of the World Health Organization (up to 11 February 2011), and the literature database of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (up to 2 March 2011). We also contacted colleagues in the field for relevant articles. Selection criteria We included cluster randomized controlled trials (cluster-RCTs), controlled before-and-after trials with at least one year of baseline data, and randomized cross-over trials that compared LSM with no LSM for malaria control. We excluded trials that evaluated biological control of anopheline mosquitoes with larvivorous fish. Data collection and analysis At least two authors assessed each trial for eligibility. We extracted data and at least two authors independently determined the risk of bias in the included studies. We resolved all disagreements through discussion with a third author. We analyzed the data using Review Manager 5 software

  13. Seascape and life-history traits do not predict self-recruitment in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Marcela; Nanninga, Gerrit B; Planes, Serge; Jones, Geoffrey P; Thorrold, Simon R; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Almany, Glenn R; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-08-01

    The persistence and resilience of many coral reef species are dependent on rates of connectivity among sub-populations. However, despite increasing research efforts, the spatial scale of larval dispersal remains unpredictable for most marine metapopulations. Here, we assess patterns of larval dispersal in the angelfish Centropyge bicolor in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, using parentage and sibling reconstruction analyses based on 23 microsatellite DNA loci. We found that, contrary to previous findings in this system, self-recruitment (SR) was virtually absent at both the reef (0.4-0.5% at 0.15 km(2)) and the lagoon scale (0.6-0.8% at approx. 700 km(2)). While approximately 25% of the collected juveniles were identified as potential siblings, the majority of sibling pairs were sampled from separate reefs. Integrating our findings with earlier research from the same system suggests that geographical setting and life-history traits alone are not suitable predictors of SR and that high levels of localized recruitment are not universal in coral reef fishes.

  14. Seascape and life-history traits do not predict self-recruitment in a coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Herrera, Marcela

    2016-08-10

    The persistence and resilience of many coral reef species are dependent on rates of connectivity among sub-populations. However, despite increasing research efforts, the spatial scale of larval dispersal remains unpredictable for most marine metapopulations. Here, we assess patterns of larval dispersal in the angelfish Centropyge bicolor in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, using parentage and sibling reconstruction analyses based on 23 microsatellite DNA loci. We found that, contrary to previous findings in this system, self-recruitment (SR) was virtually absent at both the reef (0.4-0.5% at 0.15 km2) and the lagoon scale (0.6-0.8% at approx. 700 km2). While approximately 25%of the collected juveniles were identified as potential siblings, the majority of sibling pairs were sampled from separate reefs. Integrating our findings with earlier research from the same system suggests that geographical setting and life-history traits alone are not suitable predictors of SR and that high levels of localized recruitment are not universal in coral reef fishes. © 2016 The Authors.

  15. Characterization and analysis of a de novo transcriptome from the pygmy grasshopper Tetrix japonica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Zhongying; Liu, Fei; Lu, Huimeng; Huang, Yuan

    2016-06-11

    The pygmy grasshopper Tetrix japonica is a common insect distributed throughout the world, and it has the potential for use in studies of body colour polymorphism, genomics and the biology of Tetrigoidea (Insecta: Orthoptera). However, limited biological information is available for this insect. Here, we conducted a de novo transcriptome study of adult and larval T. japonica to provide a better understanding of its gene expression and develop genomic resources for future work. We sequenced and explored the characteristics of the de novo transcriptome of T. japonica using Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. A total of 107 608 206 paired-end clean reads were assembled into 61 141 unigenes using the trinity software; the mean unigene size was 771 bp, and the N50 length was 1238 bp. A total of 29 225 unigenes were functionally annotated to the NCBI nonredundant protein sequences (Nr), NCBI nonredundant nucleotide sequences (Nt), a manually annotated and reviewed protein sequence database (Swiss-Prot), Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases. A large number of putative genes that are potentially involved in pigment pathways, juvenile hormone (JH) metabolism and signalling pathways were identified in the T. japonica transcriptome. Additionally, 165 769 and 156 796 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms occurred in the adult and larvae transcriptomes, respectively, and a total of 3162 simple sequence repeats were detected in this assembly. This comprehensive transcriptomic data for T. japonica will provide a usable resource for gene predictions, signalling pathway investigations and molecular marker development for this species and other pygmy grasshoppers.

  16. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  17. Coral reef fish assemblages at Clipperton Atoll (Eastern Tropical Pacific and their relationship with coral cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora M. Ricart

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Clipperton Atoll, one of the most isolated coral reefs worldwide, is of great scientific interest due to its geomorphology and high levels of endemism. This study explored the reef fish assemblage structure of Clipperton Atoll and its relationship with live coral cover. Nine stations were sampled at three sites and three depths (6, 12 and 20 m around the reef, measuring fish species richness and biomass and hermatypic coral cover (at genus level. We evaluated variation in species richness, biomass and diversity of fish assemblages among sites and depths, as well as the relationship between the entire fish assemblage composition and live coral cover. The results showed that species richness and biomass were similar among sites, but differed across depths, increasing with depth. In contrast, diversity differed among sites but not among depths. Multivariate analyses indicated that fish assemblage composition differed among sites and depths in relation to changes in cover of coral of the genera Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona and Leptoseris, which dominate at different depths. The results showed that fish species richness and diversity were low at Clipperton Atoll and that, in isolated coral reefs with a low habitat heterogeneity and low human disturbance, live coral cover has a significant influence on the spatial variation of the reef fish assemblages. This study highlights the importance of coral habitat structure in shaping coral reef fish assemblages.

  18. Key functional role of the optical properties of coral skeletons in coral ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enríquez, Susana; Méndez, Eugenio R; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto

    2017-04-26

    Multiple scattering of light on coral skeleton enhances light absorption efficiency of coral symbionts and plays a key role in the regulation of their internal diffuse light field. To understand the dependence of this enhancement on skeleton meso- and macrostructure, we analysed the scattering abilities of naked coral skeletons for 74 Indo-Pacific species. Sensitive morphotypes to thermal and light stress, flat-extraplanate and branching corals, showed the most efficient structures, while massive-robust species were less efficient. The lowest light-enhancing scattering abilities were found for the most primitive colonial growth form: phaceloid. Accordingly, the development of highly efficient light-collecting structures versus the selection of less efficient but more robust holobionts to cope with light stress may constitute a trade-off in the evolution of modern symbiotic scleractinian corals, characterizing two successful adaptive solutions. The coincidence of the most important structural modifications with epitheca decline supports the importance of the enhancement of light transmission across coral skeleton in modern scleractinian diversification, and the central role of these symbioses in the design and optimization of coral skeleton. Furthermore, the same ability that lies at the heart of the success of symbiotic corals as coral-reef-builders can also explain the 'Achilles's heel' of these symbioses in a warming ocean. © 2017 The Author(s).

  19. Density-associated recruitment mediates coral population dynamics on a coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramanti, Lorenzo; Edmunds, Peter J.

    2016-06-01

    Theory suggests that density-associated processes can modulate community resilience following declines in population size. Here, we demonstrate density-associated processes in two scleractinian populations on the outer reef of Moorea, French Polynesia, that are rapidly increasing in size following the effects of two catastrophic disturbances. Between 2006 and 2010, predation by the corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea star reduced coral cover by 93 %; in 2010, the dead coral skeletons were removed by a cyclone, and in 2011 and 2012, high coral recruitment initiated population recovery. Coral recruitment was associated with coral cover, but the relationship differed between two coral genera that are almost exclusively broadcast spawners in Moorea. Acroporids recruited at low densities, and the density of recruits was positively associated with cover of Acropora, whereas pocilloporids recruited at high densities, and densities of their recruits were negatively associated with cover of Pocillopora. Together, our results suggest that associations between adult cover and density of both juveniles and recruits can mediate rapid coral community recovery after large disturbances. The difference between taxa in sign of the relationships between recruit density and coral cover indicate that they reflect contrasting mechanisms with the potential to mediate temporal shifts in taxonomic composition of coral communities.

  20. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60% coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  1. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef communities in U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) using the Coral Demographics method

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Coral Demographics method is one of two benthic surveys conducted in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) as part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program...

  2. Immune response of the Caribbean sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, exposed to an Aplanochytrium parasite as revealed by transcriptome sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen A Burge

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef communities are undergoing marked declines due to a variety of stressors including disease. The sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a tractable study system to investigate mechanisms of immunity to a natural occurring pathogen. Functional studies in Gorgonia ventalina immunity indicate that several key pathways and cellular responses are involved in response to natural microbial invaders, although to date the functional and regulatory pathways remain largely un-described. This study used short-read sequencing (Illumina GAIIx to identify genes involved in the response of G. ventalina to a naturally occurring Aplanochytrium spp. parasite. De novo assembly of the G. ventalina transcriptome yielded 90,230 contigs of which 40,142 were annotated. RNA-Seq analysis revealed 210 differentially expressed genes in sea fans exposed to the Aplanochytrium parasite. Differentially expressed genes involved in immunity include pattern recognition molecules, anti-microbial peptides, and genes involved in wound repair and reactive oxygen species formation. Gene enrichment analysis indicated eight biological processes were enriched representing 36 genes, largely involved with protein translation and energy production. This is the first report using high-throughput sequencing to characterize the host response of a coral to a natural pathogen. Furthermore, we have generated the first transcriptome for a soft (octocoral or non-scleractinian coral species. Expression analysis revealed genes important in invertebrate innate immune pathways, as well as those whose role is previously un-described in cnidarians. This resource will be valuable in characterizing G. ventalina immune response to infection and co-infection of pathogens in the context of environmental change.

  3. The role of microorganisms in coral health, disease and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Koren, Omry; Reshef, Leah; Efrony, Rotem; Zilber-Rosenberg, Ilana

    2007-05-01

    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, certain microorganisms cause coral bleaching and other diseases. Recent research indicates that corals can develop resistance to specific pathogens and adapt to higher environmental temperatures. To explain these findings the coral probiotic hypothesis proposes the occurrence of a dynamic relationship between symbiotic microorganisms and corals that selects for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Generalization of the coral probiotic hypothesis has led us to propose the hologenome theory of evolution.

  4. Diversity of trypanorhynch metacestodes in teleost fishes from coral reefs off eastern Australia and New Caledonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beveridge Ian

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanorhynch metacestodes were examined from teleosts from coral reefs in eastern Australia and from New Caledonia. From over 12,000 fishes examined, 33 named species of trypanorhynchs were recovered as well as three species of tentacularioids which are described but not named. Host-parasite and parasite-host lists are provided, including more than 100 new host records. Lacistorhynchoid and tentacularioid taxa predominated with fewer otobothrioid and gymnorhynchoids. Five species, Callitetrarhynchus gracilis, Floriceps minacanthus, Pseudotobothrium dipsacum, Pseudolacistorhynchus heroniensis and Ps. shipleyi, were particularly common and exhibited low host specificity. Limited data suggested a higher diversity of larval trypanorhynchs in larger piscivorous fish families. Several fish families surveyed extensively (Blenniidae, Chaetodontidae, Gobiidae, Kyphosidae and Scaridae yielded no trypanorhynch larvae. The overall similarity between the fauna of the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia was 45%. Where available, information on the adult stages in elasmobranchs has been included.

  5. Facilitation in Caribbean coral reefs: high densities of staghorn coral foster greater coral condition and reef fish composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Brittany E; Miller, Margaret W; Pausch, Rachel; Richter, Lee

    2017-05-01

    Recovery of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is posited to play a key role in Caribbean reef resilience. At four Caribbean locations (including one restored and three extant populations), we quantified characteristics of contemporary staghorn coral across increasing conspecific densities, and investigated a hypothesis of facilitation between staghorn coral and reef fishes. High staghorn densities in the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly less partial mortality, higher branch growth, and supported greater fish abundances compared to lower densities within the same population. In contrast, partial mortality, branch growth, and fish community composition did not vary with staghorn density at the three other study locations where staghorn densities were lower overall. This suggests that density-dependent effects between the coral and fish community may only manifest at high staghorn densities. We then evaluated one facilitative mechanism for such density-dependence, whereby abundant fishes sheltering in dense staghorn aggregations deliver nutrients back to the coral, fueling faster coral growth, thereby creating more fish habitat. Indeed, dense staghorn aggregations within the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly higher growth rates, tissue nitrogen, and zooxanthellae densities than sparse aggregations. Similarly, higher tissue nitrogen was induced in a macroalgae bioassay outplanted into the same dense and sparse aggregations, confirming greater bioavailability of nutrients at high staghorn densities. Our findings inform staghorn restoration efforts, suggesting that the most effective targets may be higher coral densities than previously thought. These coral-dense aggregations may reap the benefits of positive facilitation between the staghorn and fish community, favoring the growth and survivorship of this threatened species.

  6. Calcifying algae maintain settlement cues to larval abalone following algal exposure to extreme ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, Jennifer K; Barry, James P; Gabrielson, Paul W; Rogers-Bennett, Laura; Potts, Donald C; Palumbi, Stephen R; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2017-07-18

    Ocean acidification (OA) increasingly threatens marine systems, and is especially harmful to calcifying organisms. One important question is whether OA will alter species interactions. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) provide space and chemical cues for larval settlement. CCA have shown strongly negative responses to OA in previous studies, including disruption of settlement cues to corals. In California, CCA provide cues for seven species of harvested, threatened, and endangered abalone. We exposed four common CCA genera and a crustose calcifying red algae, Peyssonnelia (collectively CCRA) from California to three pCO2 levels ranging from 419-2,013 µatm for four months. We then evaluated abalone (Haliotis rufescens) settlement under ambient conditions among the CCRA and non-algal controls that had been previously exposed to the pCO2 treatments. Abalone settlement and metamorphosis increased from 11% in the absence of CCRA to 45-69% when CCRA were present, with minor variation among CCRA genera. Though all CCRA genera reduced growth during exposure to increased pCO2, abalone settlement was unaffected by prior CCRA exposure to increased pCO2. Thus, we find no impacts of OA exposure history on CCRA provision of settlement cues. Additionally, there appears to be functional redundancy in genera of CCRA providing cues to abalone, which may further buffer OA effects.

  7. KrillDB: A de novo transcriptome database for the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Gabriele; Deagle, Bruce E.; Calura, Enrica; Martini, Paolo; Biscontin, Alberto; De Pittà, Cristiano; Kawaguchi, So; Romualdi, Chiara; Meyer, Bettina; Costa, Rodolfo; Jarman, Simon

    2017-01-01

    Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a key species in the Southern Ocean with an estimated biomass between 100 and 500 million tonnes. Changes in krill population viability would have catastrophic effect on the Antarctic ecosystem. One looming threat due to elevated levels of anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is ocean acidification (lowering of sea water pH by CO2 dissolving into the oceans). The genetics of Antarctic krill has long been of scientific interest for both for the analysis of population structure and analysis of functional genetics. However, the genetic resources available for the species are relatively modest. We have developed the most advanced genetic database on Euphausia superba, KrillDB, which includes comprehensive data sets of former and present transcriptome projects. In particular, we have built a de novo transcriptome assembly using more than 360 million Illumina sequence reads generated from larval krill including individuals subjected to different CO2 levels. The database gives access to: 1) the full list of assembled genes and transcripts; 2) their level of similarity to transcripts and proteins from other species; 3) the predicted protein domains contained within each transcript; 4) their predicted GO terms; 5) the level of expression of each transcript in the different larval stages and CO2 treatments. All references to external entities (sequences, domains, GO terms) are equipped with a link to the appropriate source database. Moreover, the software implements a full-text search engine that makes it possible to submit free-form queries. KrillDB represents the first large-scale attempt at classifying and annotating the full krill transcriptome. For this reason, we believe it will constitute a cornerstone of future approaches devoted to physiological and molecular study of this key species in the Southern Ocean food web. PMID:28187156

  8. "La revolución coral. Estudio sobre la Sociedad Coral de Bilbao y el movimiento coral europeo (1800-1936)" [Reseña

    OpenAIRE

    Olábarri-Gortázar, I. (Ignacio)

    2003-01-01

    Reseña de María Nagore-Ferrer, "La revolución coral. Estudio sobre la Sociedad Coral de Bilbao y el movimiento coral europeo (1800-1936)", Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 2001, 410 pp. ISBN: 84-89457-21-2

  9. Population genetic structure between Yap and Palau for the coral Acropora hyacinthus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annick Cros

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Information on connectivity is becoming increasingly in demand as marine protected areas are being designed as an integral part of a network to protect marine resources at the ecosystem level. Larval dispersal and population structure, however, remain very difficult to assess. Here, we tested the predictions of a detailed oceanographic connectivity model of larval dispersal and coral recruitment within Palau and between Palau and Yap, which was developed to support the review of the existing network of marine protected areas in Palau. We used high throughput microsatellite genotyping of the coral Acropora hyacinthus to characterize population genetic structure. Pairwise F′ST values between Palau and Yap (0.10, Palau and Ngulu (0.09 and Yap and Ngulu (0.09 were all significant and similar to pairwise F′ST values of sites within Palau (0.02–0.12 and within Yap (0.02–0.09 highlighting structure at island scale and indicating that recruitment may be even more localized than previously anticipated. A bottleneck test did not reveal any signs of a founder effect between Yap and Palau. Overall, the data supports the idea that recovery of A. hyacinthus in Palau did not come exclusively from a single source but most likely came from a combination of areas, including sites within Palau. In light of these results there seems to be very little connectivity around the barrier reef and management recommendation would be to increase the number or the size of MPAs within Palau.

  10. EPA Field Manual for Coral Reef Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Water Quality Research Program (WQRP) supports development of coral reef biological criteria. Research is focused on developing methods and tools to support implementation of legally defensible biological standards for maintaining biological integrity, which is protected by ...

  11. MANGROVE-DERIVED NUTRIENTS AND CORAL REEFS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding the consequences of the declining global cover of mangroves due to anthropogenic disturbance necessitates consideration of how mangrove-derived nutrients contribute to threatened coral reef systems. We sampled potential sources of organic matter and a suite of sessi...

  12. 101 questions on corals: Towards awareness

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.

    to nature and man-made changes, in every stakeholder, from local population through tourists to managers. This book serves such a purpose by answering most of the questions we ask everyday about corals and reefs....

  13. Coral Reef Watch, Nighttime Temperature, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch provides sea surface temperature (SST) products derived from NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). This data provides...

  14. EPA Field Manual for Coral Reef Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Water Quality Research Program (WQRP) supports development of coral reef biological criteria. Research is focused on developing methods and tools to support implementation of legally defensible biological standards for maintaining biological integrity, which is protected by ...

  15. Marine biology: The coral disease triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, John F.

    2015-04-01

    The underlying causes of biodiversity loss can be numerous and difficult to identify. Now evidence suggests that disease outbreaks triggered by warming oceans are a primary cause of the disappearance of Caribbean coral reefs.

  16. Precious Coral Sales Report Data Set

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a federally mandated sales log which collects information on sales of raw coral, including weight and revenue. Also includes seller and buyer information....

  17. New protection initiatives announced for coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    Off the coasts of some of the South Pacific's most idyllic-sounding atolls, Austin Bowden-Kerby has seen first-hand the heavy damage to coral reefs from dynamite and cyanide fishing. For instance, while snorkeling near Chuuk, an island in Micronesia, he has observed craters and rubble beds of coral, which locals have told him date to World War II ordnance.A marine biologist and project scientist for the Coral Gardens Initiative of the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific, Bowden-Kerby has also identified what he says are some public health effects related to destroyed coral reefs and their dying fisheries. These problems include protein and vitamin A deficiency and blindness, all of which may—in some instances—be linked to poor nutrition resulting from lower reef fish consumption by islanders, according to Bowden-Kerby.

  18. Ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    The article highlights a workshop held in Key West, Florida in November 1993 attended by a group of 35 international scientists where topics of ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs were discussed.

  19. Coral Reef Watch, Temperature Anomaly, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch distributes SST anomaly data using a combination of the POES AVHRR Global Area Coverage data, and data from a climatological database. AVHRR...

  20. Spatial refugia mediate juvenile coral survival during coral-predator interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Clare; Doropoulos, Christopher

    2017-03-01

    Coral recruitment and juvenile growth are essential processes for coral population maintenance and recovery. A growing body of research has evaluated the influence of reef microstructure on coral settlement and post-settlement survival, showing that physical refugia enhance recruitment. These studies have evaluated coral recruit morality from competition with macroalgae and indirect predation by grazing organisms, but the impact of direct predation by corallivorous piscine species on juvenile corals and how this interacts with reef microstructure is relatively unknown. This study examined whether refugia provided by micro-crevices enhance juvenile coral survival from corallivory. Juvenile corals from two different functional groups, the slow-growing massive Porites lobata and fast-growing branching Pocillopora damicornis, with average nubbin sizes of 1.4 cm × 0.3 cm and 0.5 cm × 1.0 cm (diameter × height), respectively, were attached to experimental tiles using small (1.44 cm3) and large (8.0 cm3) crevice sizes and were monitored for 29 d on a forereef in Palau. Full crevices (four sided) enhanced coral survival compared to exposed microhabitats in both coral taxa, but crevice size did not alter survival rates. Corallivores targeted recruits within crevices regardless of crevice size; dominant predators included small triggerfish (Balistidae), butterflyfish ( Chaetodon), and wrasse ( Cheilinus). Overall, Pocillopora suffered much higher rates of mortality than Porites. All Pocillopora were consumed by day 8 of the experiment, but mortality was significantly delayed in full crevices compared to exposed and partial crevice (three sided) microhabitats. In contrast, Por. lobata located in all microhabitats survived the entire experiment up to 29 d, with high survival in full (>90%) and partial crevices (70%), but only 28% survival in exposed microhabitats. These findings show the importance of crevices as spatial refugia from predators for juvenile corals and

  1. Transcriptome Analysis of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis: De Novo Assembly, Functional Annotation and Comparative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Jun; Ladd, Tim; Doucet, Daniel; Cusson, Michel; vanFrankenhuyzen, Kees; Mittapalli, Omprakash; Krell, Peter J; Quan, Guoxing

    2015-01-01

    The Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive phloem-feeding insect pest of ash trees. Since its initial discovery near the Detroit, US- Windsor, Canada area in 2002, the spread of EAB has had strong negative economic, social and environmental impacts in both countries. Several transcriptomes from specific tissues including midgut, fat body and antenna have recently been generated. However, the relatively low sequence depth, gene coverage and completeness limited the usefulness of these EAB databases. High-throughput deep RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) was used to obtain 473.9 million pairs of 100 bp length paired-end reads from various life stages and tissues. These reads were assembled into 88,907 contigs using the Trinity strategy and integrated into 38,160 unigenes after redundant sequences were removed. We annotated 11,229 unigenes by searching against the public nr, Swiss-Prot and COG. The EAB transcriptome assembly was compared with 13 other sequenced insect species, resulting in the prediction of 536 unigenes that are Coleoptera-specific. Differential gene expression revealed that 290 unigenes are expressed during larval molting and 3,911 unigenes during metamorphosis from larvae to pupae, respectively (FDR2). In addition, 1,167 differentially expressed unigenes were identified from larval and adult midguts, 435 unigenes were up-regulated in larval midgut and 732 unigenes were up-regulated in adult midgut. Most of the genes involved in RNA interference (RNAi) pathways were identified, which implies the existence of a system RNAi in EAB. This study provides one of the most fundamental and comprehensive transcriptome resources available for EAB to date. Identification of the tissue- stage- or species- specific unigenes will benefit the further study of gene functions during growth and metamorphosis processes in EAB and other pest insects.

  2. Symbiodinium identity alters the temperature-dependent settlement behaviour of Acropora millepora coral larvae before the onset of symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Natalia S; Pandolfi, John M; Sampayo, Eugenia M

    2015-02-22

    The global distribution of marine species, many of which disperse during the larval stages, is influenced by ocean temperature regimes. Here, we test how temperature and the coral symbionts (Symbiodinium) affect survival, symbiont uptake, settlement success and habitat choice of Acropora millepora larvae. Experiments were conducted at Heron Island (Australia), where larvae were exposed to 22.5, 24.5, 26.5 and 28.5°C. Within each temperature treatment, larvae were offered symbionts with distinct characteristics: (i) homologous Symbiodinium type C3, (ii) regionally homologous thermo-tolerant type D1, and (iii) heterologous thermo-tolerant type C15, as well as controls of (iv) un-filtered and (v) filtered seawater. Results show that lower instead of higher temperatures adversely affected recruitment by reducing larval survival and settlement. Low temperatures also reduced recruit habitat choice and initial symbiont densities, both of which impact on post-settlement survival. At lower temperatures, larvae increasingly settle away from preferred vertical surfaces and not on crustose coralline algae (CCA). Surprisingly, substrate preference to CCA was modified by the presence of specific symbiont genotypes that were present ex-hospite (outside the coral larvae). When different symbionts were mixed, the outcomes were non-additive, indicating that symbiont interactions modify the response. We propose that the observed influence of ex-hospite symbionts on settlement behaviour may have evolved through ecological facilitation and the study highlights the importance of biological processes during coral settlement. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Field manual for investigating coral disease outbreaks

    OpenAIRE

    Woodley, C. M.; Bruckner, A. W.; McLenon, A.L.; Higgins, J.L.; Galloway, S.B.; Nicholson, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    Coral reefs throughout their circumtropical range are declining at an accelerating rate. Recent predictions indicate that 20% of the world’s reefs have been degraded, another 24% are under imminent risk of collapse, and if current estimates hold, by 2030, 26% of the world’s reefs will be lost (Wilkinson 2004). Recent changes to these ecosystems have included losses of apex predators, reductions of important herbivorous fishes and invertebrates, and precipitous declines in living coral cover, ...

  4. Metabolite Profiling of Red Sea Corals

    KAUST Repository

    Ortega, Jovhana Alejandra

    2016-12-01

    Looking at the metabolite profile of an organism provides insights into the metabolomic state of a cell and hence also into pathways employed. Little is known about the metabolites produced by corals and their algal symbionts. In particular, corals from the central Red Sea are understudied, but interesting study objects, as they live in one of the warmest and most saline environments and can provide clues as to the adjustment of corals to environmental change. In this study, we applied gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC–MS) metabolite profiling to analyze the metabolic profile of four coral species and their associated symbionts: Fungia granulosa, Acropora hemprichii, Porites lutea, and Pocillopora verrucosa. We identified and quantified 102 compounds among primary and secondary metabolites across all samples. F. granulosa and its symbiont showed a total of 59 metabolites which were similar to the 51 displayed by P. verrucosa. P. lutea and A. hemprichii both harbored 40 compounds in conjunction with their respective isolated algae. Comparing across species, 28 metabolites were exclusively present in algae, while 38 were exclusive to corals. A principal component and cluster analyses revealed that metabolite profiles clustered between corals and algae, but each species harbored a distinct catalog of metabolites. The major classes of compounds were carbohydrates and amino acids. Taken together, this study provides a first description of metabolites of Red Sea corals and their associated symbionts. As expected, the metabolites of coral hosts differ from their algal symbionts, but each host and algal species harbor a unique set of metabolites. This corroborates that host-symbiont species pairs display a fine-tuned complementary metabolism that provide insights into the specific nature of the symbiosis. Our analysis also revealed aquatic pollutants, which suggests that metabolite profiling might be used for monitoring pollution levels and assessing

  5. Degradation and recovery of Caribbean coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Paredes, Gustavo Adolfo

    2009-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems worldwide have been seriously impacted by human activities. The current deteriorated state of coral reef communities is the result of a long history of exploitation. The scientific community has recognized the extent of degradation, its consequences, and how little we have done to avoid further degradation only in the last two decades. Marine reserves are one of the main conservation actions that could help to reduce the impacts of human activities on the ecosystem, part...

  6. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

    OpenAIRE

    Angela Dikou

    2010-01-01

    Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbre...

  7. Cyanobacteria in coral reef ecosystems : a review

    OpenAIRE

    Charpy, L.; Casareto, B.E.; Langlade, M. J.; Suzuki, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr). Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrog...

  8. Coral calcification in a changing ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffner, Ilsa B.

    2010-01-01

    Animals and plants that live in the ocean form skeletons and other hard parts by combining calcium ions and carbonate ions to create calcium carbonate. This process is called calcification. In tropical and subtropical oceans, the calcification of corals and other organisms creates reefs that protect islands, produce beautiful white-sand beaches, and create habitat for thousands of species that live on coral reefs.

  9. Evolved differences in larval social behavior mediated by novel pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mast, Joshua D; De Moraes, Consuelo M; Alborn, Hans T; Lavis, Luke D; Stern, David L

    2014-12-12

    Pheromones, chemical signals that convey social information, mediate many insect social behaviors, including navigation and aggregation. Several studies have suggested that behavior during the immature larval stages of Drosophila development is influenced by pheromones, but none of these compounds or the pheromone-receptor neurons that sense them have been identified. Here we report a larval pheromone-signaling pathway. We found that larvae produce two novel long-chain fatty acids that are attractive to other larvae. We identified a single larval chemosensory neuron that detects these molecules. Two members of the pickpocket family of DEG/ENaC channel subunits (ppk23 and ppk29) are required to respond to these pheromones. This pheromone system is evolving quickly, since the larval exudates of D. simulans, the sister species of D. melanogaster, are not attractive to other larvae. Our results define a new pheromone signaling system in Drosophila that shares characteristics with pheromone systems in a wide diversity of insects.

  10. Behavioral analysis of the escape response in larval zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ruopei; Girdhar, Kiran; Chemla, Yann; Gruebele, Martin

    The behavior of larval zebrafish is of great interest because the limited number of locomotor neurons in larval zebrafish couples with its rich repertoire of movements as a vertebrate animal. Current research uses a priori-selected parameters to describe their swimming behavior while our lab has built a parameter-free model based on singular value decomposition analysis to characterize it. Our previous work has analyzed the free swimming of larval zebrafish and presented a different picture from the current classification of larval zebrafish locomotion. Now we are extending this work to the studies of their escape response to acoustic stimulus. Analysis has shown intrinsic difference in the locomotion between escape response and free swimming.

  11. Measurements and Counts for Larval and Juvenile Beryx Specimens

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Larval alfonsin (Beryx species) were collected in the vicinity of the Southeast Hancock Seamount. A three-net Tucker trawl (I m2 effective mouth opening and 0.333 mm...

  12. Mass coral bleaching in the northern Persian Gulf, 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javid Kavousi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching events due to elevated temperatures are increasing in both frequency and magnitude worldwide. Mass bleaching was recorded at five sites in the northern Persian Gulf during August and September 2012. Based on available seawater temperature data from field, satellite and previous studies, we suggest that the coral bleaching threshold temperature in the northern Persian Gulf is between 33.5 and 34°C, which is about 1.5 to 2.5°C lower than that in the southern part. To assess the bleaching effects, coral genera counted during 60-minute dives were categorized into four groups including healthy, slightly bleached ( 50% bleached tissue and fully bleached colonies. The anomalously high sea surface temperature resulted in massive coral bleaching (~84% coral colonies affected. Acropora spp. colonies, which are known as the most vulnerable corals to thermal stress, were less affected by the bleaching than massive corals, such as Porites, which are among the most thermo-tolerant corals. Turbid waters, suggested as coral refugia against global warming, did not protect corals in this study since most affected corals were found in the most turbid waters. The 2012 bleaching in the northern Persian Gulf was relatively strong from the viewpoint of coral bleaching severity. Long-term monitoring is needed to understand the actual consequences of the bleaching event on the coral reefs and communities.

  13. Behaviourally mediated phenotypic selection in a disturbed coral reef environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark I McCormick

    Full Text Available Natural and anthropogenic disturbances are leading to changes in the nature of many habitats globally, and the magnitude and frequency of these perturbations are predicted to increase under climate change. Globally coral reefs are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change. Fishes often show relatively rapid declines in abundance when corals become stressed and die, but the processes responsible are largely unknown. This study explored the mechanism by which coral bleaching may influence the levels and selective nature of mortality on a juvenile damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, which associates with hard coral. Recently settled fish had a low propensity to migrate small distances (40 cm between habitat patches, even when densities were elevated to their natural maximum. Intraspecific interactions and space use differ among three habitats: live hard coral, bleached coral and dead algal-covered coral. Large fish pushed smaller fish further from the shelter of bleached and dead coral thereby exposing smaller fish to higher mortality than experienced on healthy coral. Small recruits suffered higher mortality than large recruits on bleached and dead coral. Mortality was not size selective on live coral. Survival was 3 times as high on live coral as on either bleached or dead coral. Subtle behavioural interactions between fish and their habitats influence the fundamental link between life history stages, the distribution of phenotypic traits in the local population and potentially the evolution of life history strategies.

  14. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rix, Laura; de Goeij, Jasper M; Mueller, Christina E; Struck, Ulrich; Middelburg, Jack J; van Duyl, Fleur C; Al-Horani, Fuad A; Wild, Christian; Naumann, Malik S; van Oevelen, Dick

    2016-01-07

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and nutrients in DOM to higher trophic levels on Caribbean reefs via the so-called sponge loop. Coral mucus may be a major DOM source for the sponge loop, but mucus uptake by sponges has not been demonstrated. Here we used laboratory stable isotope tracer experiments to show the transfer of coral mucus into the bulk tissue and phospholipid fatty acids of the warm-water sponge Mycale fistulifera and cold-water sponge Hymedesmia coriacea, demonstrating a direct trophic link between corals and reef sponges. Furthermore, 21-40% of the mucus carbon and 32-39% of the nitrogen assimilated by the sponges was subsequently released as detritus, confirming a sponge loop on Red Sea warm-water and north Atlantic cold-water coral reefs. The presence of a sponge loop in two vastly different reef environments suggests it is a ubiquitous feature of reef ecosystems contributing to the high biogeochemical cycling that may enable coral reefs to thrive in nutrient-limited (warm-water) and energy-limited (cold-water) environments.

  15. Metatranscriptome analysis of the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata indicates holobiont response to coral disease

    KAUST Repository

    Daniels, Camille Arian

    2015-09-11

    White Plague Disease (WPD) is implicated in coral reef decline in the Caribbean and is characterized by microbial community shifts in coral mucus and tissue. Studies thus far have focused on assessing microbial communities or the identification of specific pathogens, yet few have addressed holobiont response across metaorganism compartments in coral disease. Here, we report on the first metatranscriptomic assessment of the coral host, algal symbiont, and microbial compartment in order to survey holobiont structure and function in healthy and diseased samples from Orbicella faveolata collected at reef sites off Puerto Rico. Our data indicate holobiont-wide as well as compartment-specific responses to WPD. Gene expression changes in the diseased coral host involved proteins playing a role in innate immunity, cytoskeletal integrity, cell adhesion, oxidative stress, chemical defense, and retroelements. In contrast, the algal symbiont showed comparatively few expression changes, but of large magnitude, of genes related to stress, photosynthesis, and metal transport. Concordant with the coral host response, the bacterial compartment showed increased abundance of heat shock proteins, genes related to oxidative stress, DNA repair, and potential retroelement activity. Importantly, analysis of the expressed bacterial gene functions establishes the participation of multiple bacterial families in WPD pathogenesis and also suggests a possible involvement of viruses and/or phages in structuring the bacterial assemblage. In this study, we implement an experimental approach to partition the coral holobiont and resolve compartment- and taxa-specific responses in order to understand metaorganism function in coral disease.

  16. RESISTANCE AND RESILIENCE TO CORAL BLEACHING: IMPLICATIONS FOR CORAL REEF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The massive scale of the 1997-1998 El Nino-associated coral bleaching event underscores the need for strategies to mitigate biodiversity losses resulting from temperature-induced coral mortality. As baseline sea surface temperatures continue to rise, climate change may represent ...

  17. Miocene reef-coral diversity of Indonesia: unlocking the murky origins of the Coral Triangle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santodomingo Aguilar, Nadia

    2014-01-01

    Reefs in the Coral Triangle host the richest marine diversity today. While the biodiversity gradients associated with the Coral Triangle are progressively better documented, the mechanisms responsible for the origins and maintenance of this pattern still remain obscure. Until recently, palaeontologi

  18. Metatranscriptome analysis of the reef-buidling coral Orbicella faveolata indicates holobiont response to coral disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille eDaniels

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available White Plague Disease (WPD is implicated in coral reef decline in the Caribbean and is characterized by microbial community shifts in coral mucus and tissue. Studies thus far have focused on assessing microbial communities or the identification of specific pathogens, yet few have addressed holobiont response across metaorganism compartments in coral disease. Here, we report on the first metatranscriptomic assessment of the coral host, algal symbiont, and microbial compartment in order to survey holobiont structure and function in healthy and diseased samples from Orbicella faveolata collected at reef sites off Puerto Rico. Our data indicate metaorganism-wide as well as compartment-specific responses to WPD. Gene expression changes in the diseased coral host involved proteins playing a role in innate immunity, cytoskeletal integrity, cell adhesion, oxidative stress, chemical defense, and retroelements. In contrast, the algal symbiont showed comparatively few expression changes, but of large magnitude, of genes related to stress, photosynthesis, and metal transport. Concordant with the coral host response, the bacterial compartment showed increased abundance of heat shock proteins, genes related to oxidative stress, DNA repair, and potential retroelement activity. Importantly, analysis of the expressed bacterial gene functions establishes the participation of multiple bacterial families in WPD pathogenesis and also suggests a possible involvement of viruses and/or phages in structuring the bacterial assemblage. In this study, we implement an experimental approach to partition the coral holobiont and resolve compartment- and taxa-specific responses in order to understand metaorganism function in coral disease.

  19. INDICATORS OF UV EXPOSURE IN CORALS AND THEIR RELEVANCE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND CORAL BLEACHING

    Science.gov (United States)

    A compelling aspect of the deterioration of coral reefs is the phenomenon of coral bleaching. Through interactions with other factors such as sedimentation, pollution, and bacterial infection, bleaching can impact large areas of a reef with limited recovery, and it might be induc...

  20. INDICATORS OF UV EXPOSURE IN CORALS AND THEIR RELEVANCE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND CORAL BLEACHING

    Science.gov (United States)

    A compelling aspect of the deterioration of coral reefs is the phenomenon of coral bleaching. Through interactions with other factors such as sedimentation, pollution, and bacterial infection, bleaching can impact large areas of a reef with limited recovery, and it might be induc...

  1. Identification and prevalence of coral diseases on three Western Indian Ocean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Séré, Mathieu G; Chabanet, Pascale; Turquet, Jean; Quod, Jean-Pascal; Schleyer, Michael H

    2015-06-03

    Coral diseases have caused a substantial decline in the biodiversity and abundance of reef-building corals. To date, more than 30 distinct diseases of scleractinian corals have been reported, which cause progressive tissue loss and/or affect coral growth, reproductive capacity, recruitment, species diversity and the abundance of reef-associated organisms. While coral disease research has increased over the last 4 decades, very little is known about coral diseases in the Western Indian Ocean. Surveys conducted at multiple sites in Reunion, South Africa and Mayotte between August 2010 and June 2012 revealed the presence of 6 main coral diseases: black band disease (BBD), white syndrome (WS), pink line syndrome (PLS), growth anomalies (GA), skeleton eroding band (SEB) and Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS). Overall, disease prevalence was higher in Reunion (7.5 ± 2.2%; mean ± SE) compared to South Africa (3.9 ± 0.8%) and Mayotte (2.7 ± 0.3%). Across locations, Acropora and Porites were the genera most susceptible to disease. Spatial variability was detected in both Reunion and South Africa, with BBD and WS more prevalent on shallow than deep reefs. There was also evidence of seasonality in 2 diseases: the prevalence of BBD and WS was higher in summer than winter. This was the first study to investigate the ecology of coral diseases, providing both qualitative and quantitative data, on Western Indian Ocean reefs, and surveys should be expanded to confirm these patterns.

  2. Anatomical and physiological evidence for electroreception in larval lampreys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronan, M

    1988-05-10

    In larval lampreys, the superficial ophthalmic, buccal, and recurrent rami of the anterior lateral line nerve project to the dorsal nucleus of the ipsilateral medulla; the posterior lateral line nerve projects to the medial nucleus bilaterally. The recurrent ramus is the largest source of afferents to the dorsal nucleus. Extracellular recordings from recurrent afferents in the trunk lateral line nerve indicate larval lampreys are sensitive to weak, low-frequency electric fields. Cathodal (outside negative) fields are excitatory; anodal fields are inhibitory.

  3. Contributions for larval development optimization of Homarus gammarus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Tiago Fonseca Sá

    2014-06-01

    The seawater rising temperature resulted in a decrease of intermoult period in all larval development stages and at all tested temperatures, ranging from 4.77 (Z1 to 16.5 days (Z3 at 16°C, whereas at 23°C, ranged from 3:02 (Z1 and 9.75 days (Z3. The results obtained are an extremely useful guide for future optimization of protocols on larval development of H. gammarus.

  4. Basic Gravitational Reflexes in the Larval Frog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, Stephen L.

    1996-01-01

    This investigation was designed to determine how a primitive vertebrate, the bullfrog tadpole, is able to sense and process gravitational stimuli. Because of the phylogenetic similarities of the vestibular systems in all vertebrates, the understanding of the gravitational reflexes in this relatively simple vertebrate should elucidate a skeletal framework on a elementary level, upon which the more elaborate reflexes of higher vertebrates may be constructed. The purpose of this study was to understand how the nervous system of the larval amphibian processes gravitational information. This study involved predominantly electrophysiological investigations of the isolated, alert (forebrain removed) bullfrog tadpole head. The focus of these experiments is threefold: (1) to understand from whole extraocular nerve recordings the signals sent to the eye following static gravitational tilt of the head; (2) to localize neuronal centers responsible for generating these signals through reversible pharmacological ablation of these centers; and (3) to record intracellularly from neurons within these centers in order to determine the single neuron's role in the overall processing of the center. This study has provided information on the mechanisms by which a primitive vertebrate processes gravitational reflexes.

  5. Arrested larval development in cattle nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armour, J; Duncan, M

    1987-06-01

    Most economically important cattle nematodes are able to arrest their larval development within the host - entering a period of dormancy or hypobiosis. Arrested larvae have a low death rate, and large numbers can accumulate in infected cattle during the grazing season. Because of this, outbreaks of disease caused by such nematodes can occur at times when recent infection with the parasites could not have occurred, for example during winter in temperature northern climates when cattle are normally housed. The capacity to arrest is a heritable trait. It is seen as an adaptation by the parasite to avoid further development to its free-living stages during times when the climate is unsuitable for free-living survival. But levels of arrestment can vary markedly in different regions, in different cattle, and under different management regimes. Climatic factors, previous conditioning, host immune status, and farm management all seem to affect arrestment levels. In this article, James Armour and Mary Duncan review the biological basis of the phenomenon, and discuss the apparently conflicting views on how it is controlled.

  6. Acanthaster planci infestations of reefs and coral assemblages in Japan: a retrospective analysis of control efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Masashi

    1986-08-01

    Reef-building corals have been extensively degraded by Acanthaster planci infestations which have continued to spread throughout the Ryukyu archipelago since 1969. Intensive control efforts were undertaken by fishermen and divers by hand-collecting and disposal on land with removal of about 13 million starfish at the total cost of over 600 million yen from 1970 to 1983 fiscal year. The control programs were mostly unsuccessful for saving the reefs from predation because the efforts were executed on the basis of collecting efficiency, so that significant numbers of starfish continued predation after each belated campaign. Certain coral assemblages outside the Ryukyus were infested with unusually large numbers of A. planci simultaneously with the northern part of Okinawa Island and its neighboring islands in the early seventies. A shift of infestation sites occurred in the extratropical waters in the mid-seventies when the warm current, Kuroshio, changed its path and left the coast of Honshu, the main island of Japan. The Kuroshio is considered to be transporting larval A. planci downstream from the Ryukyus where large aggregations have continued to exist at different areas all through the period.

  7. Arrecifes de Coral: Una Coleccion de Actividades en Espanol para Estudiantes de Escuela Intermedia (Coral Reefs: A Spanish Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Sharon H.; Newton, R. Amanda; Ortiz, Alida

    This activity book for middle school students on coral reefs is divided into 10 sections. Section 1 is the introduction. Section 2 describes what coral reefs are while section 3 describes how coral reefs reproduce and grow. Section 4 describes where coral reefs are found, and section 5 describes life on a coral reef. Section 6 describes the…

  8. Using demographic models to project the effects of climate change on scleractinian corals: Pocillopora damicornis as a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramanti, L.; Iannelli, M.; Fan, T. Y.; Edmunds, P. J.

    2015-06-01

    Using empirical analyses of the effects of global climate change (GCC) and ocean acidification (OA) on the survival and calcification of early life stages of Pocillopora damicornis, we employed a demographic approach to forecast the consequences of GCC and OA on the population dynamics of this coral. We constructed a size-based demographic model using life-history tables and transition probabilities for a population in Southern Taiwan, and projected the population structure over ~100 yr under scenarios of warming and acidification. The simulations incorporated stochastic variability of the parameters (±5 %), decline in larval survival due to increases in temperature and pCO2, modified growth rates due to rising temperature, and larval input from distant populations. In a closed population, an increase of pCO2 from 40.5 to 91.2 Pa reduces density, and an increase in temperature from 26 to 29 °C results in population extirpation within 100 yr. With a larval supply of 10 % from distant populations, the population persisted regardless of high temperature (+3 °C). These results indicate that: (1) populations of P. damicornis may be resistant to GCC and OA so long as it persists as part of a metapopulation capable of supplying larvae from spatially separated populations and (2) early life stages can regulate the population dynamics of P. damicornis.