Nitrogen Fixation Aligns with nifH Abundance and Expression in Two Coral Trophic Functional Groups

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/625166
Title:
Nitrogen Fixation Aligns with nifH Abundance and Expression in Two Coral Trophic Functional Groups
Authors:
Pogoreutz, Claudia; Radecker, Nils; Cardenas, Anny; Gärdes, Astrid; Wild, Christian; Voolstra, Christian R. ( 0000-0003-4555-3795 )
Abstract:
Microbial nitrogen fixation (diazotrophy) is a functional trait widely associated with tropical reef-building (scleractinian) corals. While the integral role of nitrogen fixation in coral nutrient dynamics is recognized, its ecological significance across different coral functional groups remains yet to be evaluated. Here we set out to compare molecular and physiological patterns of diazotrophy (i.e., nifH gene abundance and expression as well as nitrogen fixation rates) in two coral families with contrasting trophic strategies: highly heterotrophic, free-living members of the family Fungiidae (Pleuractis granulosa, Ctenactis echinata), and mostly autotrophic coral holobionts with low heterotrophic capacity (Pocilloporidae: Pocillopora verrucosa, Stylophora pistillata). The Fungiidae exhibited low diazotroph abundance (based on nifH gene copy numbers) and activity (based on nifH gene expression and the absence of detectable nitrogen fixation rates). In contrast, the mostly autotrophic Pocilloporidae exhibited nifH gene copy numbers and gene expression two orders of magnitude higher than in the Fungiidae, which coincided with detectable nitrogen fixation activity. Based on these data, we suggest that nitrogen fixation compensates for the low heterotrophic nitrogen uptake in autotrophic corals. Consequently, the ecological importance of diazotrophy in coral holobionts may be determined by the trophic functional group of the host.
KAUST Department:
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Citation:
Pogoreutz C, Rädecker N, Cárdenas A, Gärdes A, Wild C, et al. (2017) Nitrogen Fixation Aligns with nifH Abundance and Expression in Two Coral Trophic Functional Groups. Frontiers in Microbiology 8. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187.
Publisher:
Frontiers Media SA
Journal:
Frontiers in Microbiology
Issue Date:
28-Jun-2017
DOI:
10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1664-302X
Sponsors:
The authors thank A.M. Al-Suwailem and Z. Batang for allocation of workspace and P. Muller for technical support at the Core Lab for Coastal and Marine Resources (KAUST). We thank R. Aljadahli, H. Aljadahli, and D. Pallett for support with marine operations, T. Röthig and M. Ziegler for assistance with coral collection, B. Hoeksema for taxonomic clarifications, and Zeyad al-Tallah and N. Karbathia for support with ethylene measurements. Further, the authors would like to thank the editor as well as the two reviewers for their constructive feedback on the manuscript. CP was supported by GLOMAR – Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences. NR was supported by the DAAD Promos Scholarship. CV acknowledges funding by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). This work was also supported by German Research Foundation (DFG) grant Wi 2677/9-1 to CW.
Additional Links:
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187/full
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC); Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPogoreutz, Claudiaen
dc.contributor.authorRadecker, Nilsen
dc.contributor.authorCardenas, Annyen
dc.contributor.authorGärdes, Astriden
dc.contributor.authorWild, Christianen
dc.contributor.authorVoolstra, Christian R.en
dc.date.accessioned2017-07-06T09:43:06Z-
dc.date.available2017-07-06T09:43:06Z-
dc.date.issued2017-06-28en
dc.identifier.citationPogoreutz C, Rädecker N, Cárdenas A, Gärdes A, Wild C, et al. (2017) Nitrogen Fixation Aligns with nifH Abundance and Expression in Two Coral Trophic Functional Groups. Frontiers in Microbiology 8. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187.en
dc.identifier.issn1664-302Xen
dc.identifier.doi10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/625166-
dc.description.abstractMicrobial nitrogen fixation (diazotrophy) is a functional trait widely associated with tropical reef-building (scleractinian) corals. While the integral role of nitrogen fixation in coral nutrient dynamics is recognized, its ecological significance across different coral functional groups remains yet to be evaluated. Here we set out to compare molecular and physiological patterns of diazotrophy (i.e., nifH gene abundance and expression as well as nitrogen fixation rates) in two coral families with contrasting trophic strategies: highly heterotrophic, free-living members of the family Fungiidae (Pleuractis granulosa, Ctenactis echinata), and mostly autotrophic coral holobionts with low heterotrophic capacity (Pocilloporidae: Pocillopora verrucosa, Stylophora pistillata). The Fungiidae exhibited low diazotroph abundance (based on nifH gene copy numbers) and activity (based on nifH gene expression and the absence of detectable nitrogen fixation rates). In contrast, the mostly autotrophic Pocilloporidae exhibited nifH gene copy numbers and gene expression two orders of magnitude higher than in the Fungiidae, which coincided with detectable nitrogen fixation activity. Based on these data, we suggest that nitrogen fixation compensates for the low heterotrophic nitrogen uptake in autotrophic corals. Consequently, the ecological importance of diazotrophy in coral holobionts may be determined by the trophic functional group of the host.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank A.M. Al-Suwailem and Z. Batang for allocation of workspace and P. Muller for technical support at the Core Lab for Coastal and Marine Resources (KAUST). We thank R. Aljadahli, H. Aljadahli, and D. Pallett for support with marine operations, T. Röthig and M. Ziegler for assistance with coral collection, B. Hoeksema for taxonomic clarifications, and Zeyad al-Tallah and N. Karbathia for support with ethylene measurements. Further, the authors would like to thank the editor as well as the two reviewers for their constructive feedback on the manuscript. CP was supported by GLOMAR – Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences. NR was supported by the DAAD Promos Scholarship. CV acknowledges funding by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). This work was also supported by German Research Foundation (DFG) grant Wi 2677/9-1 to CW.en
dc.publisherFrontiers Media SAen
dc.relation.urlhttp://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187/fullen
dc.rightsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.en
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/en
dc.titleNitrogen Fixation Aligns with nifH Abundance and Expression in Two Coral Trophic Functional Groupsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Divisionen
dc.contributor.departmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)en
dc.identifier.journalFrontiers in Microbiologyen
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionMarine Ecology and Coral Reef Ecology Group, Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germanyen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Ecology, Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen, Germanyen
dc.contributor.institutionTropical Marine Microbiology Group, Department of Biogeochemistry and Geology, Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen, Germanyen
kaust.authorPogoreutz, Claudiaen
kaust.authorRadecker, Nilsen
kaust.authorCardenas, Annyen
kaust.authorVoolstra, Christian R.en
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