Arnaud-Haond, S.; Aires, T.; Candeias, R.; Teixeira, S. J. L; Duarte, Carlos M.; Valero, M.; Serrão, E. A.(Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2017-03-20)[Article]
Successful prevention and mitigation of biological invasions requires retracing the initial steps of introduction, as well as understanding key elements enhancing the adaptability of invasive species. We studied the genetic diversity of the green alga Caulerpa taxifolia and its associated bacterial communities in several areas around the world. The striking congruence of α and ß diversity of the algal genome and endophytic communities reveals a tight association, supporting the holobiont concept as best describing the unit of spreading and invasion. Both genomic compartments support the hypotheses of a unique accidental introduction in the Mediterranean and of multiple invasion events in Southern Australia. In addition to helping with tracing the origin of invasion, bacterial communities exhibit metabolic functions that can potentially enhance adaptability and competitiveness of the consortium they form with their host. We thus hypothesize that low genetic diversities of both host and symbiont communities may contribute to the recent regression in the Mediterranean, in contrast with the persistence of highly diverse assemblages in southern Australia. This study supports the importance of scaling up from the host to the holobiont for a comprehensive understanding of invasions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The significance of bacteria for eukaryotic functioning is increasingly recognized. Coral reef ecosystems critically rely on the relationship between coral hosts and their intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellates, but the role of the associated bacteria remains largely theoretical. Here, we set out to relate coral-associated bacterial communities of the fungid host species Ctenactis echinata to environmental settings (geographic location, substrate cover, summer/winter, nutrient and suspended matter concentrations) and coral host abundance. We show that bacterial diversity of C. echinata aligns with ecological differences between sites and that coral colonies sampled at the species’ preferred habitats are primarily structured by one bacterial taxon (genus Endozoicomonas) representing more than 60% of all bacteria. In contrast, host microbiomes from lower populated coral habitats are less structured and more diverse. Our study demonstrates that the content and structure of the coral microbiome aligns with environmental differences and denotes habitat adequacy. Availability of a range of coral host habitats might be important for the conservation of distinct microbiome structures and diversity.
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