Now showing items 61-80 of 112

    • Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

      Erpenbeck, Dirk; Voigt, Oliver; Al-Aidaroos, Ali M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Büttner, Gabriele; Catania, Daniela; Guirguis, Adel Naguib; Paulay, Gustav; Schätzle, Simone; Wörheide, Gert (Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier BV, 2016-01-07) [Article]
      Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters.
    • Coral microbial community dynamics in response to anthropogenic impacts near a major city in the central Red Sea

      Ziegler, Maren; Roik, Anna Krystyna; Porter, Adam; Zubier, Khalid; Mudarris, Mohammed S.; Ormond, Rupert; Voolstra, Christian R. (Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier BV, 2016-01-04) [Article]
      Coral-associated bacteria play an increasingly recognized part in coral health. We investigated the effect of local anthropogenic impacts on coral microbial communities on reefs near Jeddah, the largest city on the Saudi Arabian coast of the central Red Sea. We analyzed the bacterial community structure of water and corals (Pocillopora verrucosa and Acropora hemprichii) at sites that were relatively unimpacted, exposed to sedimentation & local sewage, or in the discharge area of municipal wastewaters. Coral microbial communities were significantly different at impacted sites: in both corals the main symbiotic taxon decreased in abundance. In contrast, opportunistic bacterial families, such as e.g. Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, were more abundant in corals at impacted sites. In conclusion, microbial community response revealed a measurable footprint of anthropogenic impacts to coral ecosystems close to Jeddah, even though the corals appeared visually healthy.
    • Seascape genetics along environmental gradients in the Arabian Peninsula: insights from ddRAD sequencing of anemonefishes

      Saenz Agudelo, Pablo; DiBattista, Joseph; Piatek, Marek J.; Gaither, Michelle R.; Harrison, Hugo B.; Nanninga, Gerrit B.; Berumen, Michael L. (Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2015-12-12) [Article]
      Understanding the processes that shape patterns of genetic structure across space is a central aim of landscape genetics. However, it remains unclear how geographic features and environmental variables shape gene flow, particularly for marine species in large complex seascapes. Here, we evaluated the genomic composition of the two-band anemonefish Amphiprion bicinctus across its entire geographic range in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, as well as its close relative, Amphiprion omanensis endemic to the southern coast of Oman. Both the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea are complex and environmentally heterogeneous marine systems that provide an ideal scenario to address these questions. Our findings confirm the presence of two genetic clusters previously reported for A. bicinctus in the Red Sea. Genetic structure analyses suggest a complex seascape configuration, with evidence of both Isolation by Distance (IBD) and Isolation by Environment (IBE). In addition to IBD and IBE, genetic structure among sites was best explained when two barriers to gene flow were also accounted for. One of these coincides with a strong oligotrophic-eutrophic gradient at around 16-20˚N in the Red Sea. The other agrees with an historical bathymetric barrier at the straight of Bab al Mandab. Finally, these data support the presence of inter-specific hybrids at an intermediate suture zone at Socotra and indicate complex patterns of genomic admixture in the Gulf of Aden with evidence of introgression between species. Our findings highlight the power of recent genomic approaches to resolve subtle patterns of gene flow in marine seascapes.
    • From cholera to corals: Viruses as drivers of virulence in a major coral bacterial pathogen

      Weynberg, Karen D.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Neave, Matthew J.; Buerger, Patrick; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H. (Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2015-12-08) [Article]
      Disease is an increasing threat to reef-building corals. One of the few identified pathogens of coral disease is the bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus. In Vibrio cholerae, infection by a bacterial virus (bacteriophage) results in the conversion of non-pathogenic strains to pathogenic strains and this can lead to cholera pandemics. Pathogenicity islands encoded in the V. cholerae genome play an important role in pathogenesis. Here we analyse five whole genome sequences of V. coralliilyticus to examine whether virulence is similarly driven by horizontally acquired elements. We demonstrate that bacteriophage genomes encoding toxin genes with homology to those found in pathogenic V. cholerae are integrated in V. coralliilyticus genomes. Virulence factors located on chromosomal pathogenicity islands also exist in some strains of V. coralliilyticus. The presence of these genetic signatures indicates virulence in V. coralliilyticus is driven by prophages and other horizontally acquired elements. Screening for pathogens of coral disease should target conserved regions in these elements.
    • Extracellular DNA amplicon sequencing reveals high levels of benthic eukaryotic diversity in the central Red Sea

      Pearman, John K.; Irigoien, Xabier; Carvalho, Susana (Marine Genomics, Elsevier BV, 2015-11-10) [Article]
      The present study aims to characterize the benthic eukaryotic biodiversity patterns at a coarse taxonomic level in three areas of the central Red Sea (a lagoon, an offshore area in Thuwal and a shallow coastal area near Jeddah) based on extracellular DNA. High-throughput amplicon sequencing targeting the V9 region of the 18S rRNA gene was undertaken for 32 sediment samples. High levels of alpha-diversity were detected with 16,089 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) being identified. The majority of the OTUs were assigned to Metazoa (29.2%), Alveolata (22.4%) and Stramenopiles (17.8%). Stramenopiles (Diatomea) and Alveolata (Ciliophora) were frequent in a lagoon and in shallower coastal stations, whereas metazoans (Arthropoda: Maxillopoda) were dominant in deeper offshore stations. Only 24.6% of total OTUs were shared among all areas. Beta-diversity was generally lower between the lagoon and Jeddah (nearshore) than between either of those and the offshore area, suggesting a nearshore–offshore biodiversity gradient. The current approach allowed for a broad-range of benthic eukaryotic biodiversity to be analysed with significantly less labour than would be required by other traditional taxonomic approaches. Our findings suggest that next generation sequencing techniques have the potential to provide a fast and standardised screening of benthic biodiversity at large spatial and temporal scales.
    • Metatranscriptome analysis of the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata indicates holobiont response to coral disease

      Daniels, Camille Arian; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Yum, Lauren; Michell, Craig; Bayer, Till; Arif, Chatchanit; Roder, Cornelia; Weil, Ernesto; Voolstra, Christian R. (Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media SA, 2015-09-11) [Article]
      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.
    • The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis

      Baumgarten, Sebastian; Simakov, Oleg; Esherick, Lisl Y.; Liew, Yi Jin; Lehnert, Erik M.; Michell, Craig; Li, Yong; Hambleton, Elizabeth A.; Guse, Annika; Oates, Matt E.; Gough, Julian; Weis, Virginia M.; Aranda, Manuel; Pringle, John R.; Voolstra, Christian R. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015-08-31) [Article]
      The most diverse marine ecosystems, coral reefs, depend upon a functional symbiosis between a cnidarian animal host (the coral) and intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this endosymbiosis are not well understood, in part because of the difficulties of experimental work with corals. The small sea anemone Aiptasia provides a tractable laboratory model for investigating these mechanisms. Here we report on the assembly and analysis of the Aiptasia genome, which will provide a foundation for future studies and has revealed several features that may be key to understanding the evolution and function of the endosymbiosis. These features include genomic rearrangements and taxonomically restricted genes that may be functionally related to the symbiosis, aspects of host dependence on alga-derived nutrients, a novel and expanded cnidarian-specific family of putative pattern-recognition receptors that might be involved in the animal–algal interactions, and extensive lineage-specific horizontal gene transfer. Extensive integration of genes of prokaryotic origin, including genes for antimicrobial peptides, presumably reflects an intimate association of the animal–algal pair also with its prokaryotic microbiome.
    • The Hidden Diversity of Zanclea Associated with Scleractinians Revealed by Molecular Data

      Montano, Simone; Maggioni, Davide; Arrigoni, Roberto; Seveso, Davide; Puce, Stefania; Galli, Paolo (PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2015-07-24) [Article]
      Scleractinian reef corals have recently been acknowledged as the most numerous host group found in association with hydroids belonging to the Zanclea genus. However, knowledge of the molecular phylogenetic relationships among Zanclea species associated with scleractinians is just beginning. This study, using the nuclear 28S rDNA region and the fast-evolving mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI genes, provides the most comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus Zanclea with a particular focus on the genetic diversity among Zanclea specimens associated with 13 scleractinian genera. The monophyly of Zanclea associated with scleractinians was strongly supported in all nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenetic reconstructions. Furthermore, a combined mitochondrial 16S and COI phylogenetic tree revealed a multitude of hidden molecular lineages within this group (Clades I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and VIII), suggesting the existence of both host-generalist and genus-specific lineages of Zanclea associated with scleractinians. In addition to Z. gallii living in association with the genus Acropora, we discovered four well-supported lineages (Clades I, II, III, and VII), each one forming a strict association with a single scleractinian genus, including sequences of Zanclea associated with Montipora from two geographically separated areas (Maldives and Taiwan). Two host-generalist Zanclea lineages were also observed, and one of them was formed by Zanclea specimens symbiotic with seven scleractinian genera (Clade VIII). We also found that the COI gene allows the recognition of separated hidden lineages in agreement with the commonly recommended mitochondrial 16S as a DNA barcoding gene for Hydrozoa and shows reasonable potential for phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses in the genus Zanclea. Finally, as no DNA sequences are available for the majority of the nominal Zanclea species known, we note that they will be necessary to elucidate the diversity of the Zanclea-scleractinian association.
    • Microbiome structure of the fungid coral Ctenactis echinata aligns with environmental differences

      Roder, Cornelia; Bayer, Till; Aranda, Manuel; Kruse, Maren; Voolstra, Christian R. (Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2015-06-19) [Article]
      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.
    • Bicarbonate transporters in corals point towards a key step in the evolution of cnidarian calcification

      Zoccola, Didier; Ganot, Philippe; Bertucci, Anthony; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Techer, Nathalie; Voolstra, Christian R.; Aranda, Manuel; Tambutté, Eric; Allemand, Denis; Casey, Joseph R; Tambutté, Sylvie (Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2015-06-04) [Article]
      The bicarbonate ion (HCO3−) is involved in two major physiological processes in corals, biomineralization and photosynthesis, yet no molecular data on bicarbonate transporters are available. Here, we characterized plasma membrane-type HCO3− transporters in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Eight solute carrier (SLC) genes were found in the genome: five homologs of mammalian-type SLC4 family members, and three of mammalian-type SLC26 family members. Using relative expression analysis and immunostaining, we analyzed the cellular distribution of these transporters and conducted phylogenetic analyses to determine the extent of conservation among cnidarian model organisms. Our data suggest that the SLC4γ isoform is specific to scleractinian corals and responsible for supplying HCO3− to the site of calcification. Taken together, SLC4γ appears to be one of the key genes for skeleton building in corals, which bears profound implications for our understanding of coral biomineralization and the evolution of scleractinian corals within cnidarians.
    • Exploring seascape genetics and kinship in the reef sponge Stylissa carteri in the Red Sea

      Giles, Emily; Saenz Agudelo, Pablo; Hussey, Nigel E.; Ravasi, Timothy; Berumen, Michael L. (Ecology and Evolution, Wiley, 2015-06-01) [Article]
      A main goal of population geneticists is to study patterns of gene flow to gain a better understanding of the population structure in a given organism. To date most efforts have been focused on studying gene flow at either broad scales to identify barriers to gene flow and isolation by distance or at fine spatial scales in order to gain inferences regarding reproduction and local dispersal. Few studies have measured connectivity at multiple spatial scales and have utilized novel tools to test the influence of both environment and geography on shaping gene flow in an organism. Here a seascape genetics approach was used to gain insight regarding geographic and ecological barriers to gene flow of a common reef sponge, Stylissa carteri in the Red Sea. Furthermore, a small-scale (<1 km) analysis was also conducted to infer reproductive potential in this organism. At the broad scale, we found that sponge connectivity is not structured by geography alone, but rather, genetic isolation in the southern Red Sea correlates strongly with environmental heterogeneity. At the scale of a 50-m transect, spatial autocorrelation analyses and estimates of full-siblings revealed that there is no deviation from random mating. However, at slightly larger scales (100–200 m) encompassing multiple transects at a given site, a greater proportion of full-siblings was found within sites versus among sites in a given location suggesting that mating and/or dispersal are constrained to some extent at this spatial scale. This study adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that environmental and ecological variables play a major role in the genetic structure of marine invertebrate populations.
    • Population genetics of four heavily exploited shark species around the Arabian Peninsula

      Spaet, Julia L.Y.; Jabado, Rima W; Henderson, Aaron C.; Moore, Alec B. M.; Berumen, Michael L. (Ecology and Evolution, Wiley, 2015-05-20) [Article]
      The northwestern Indian Ocean harbors a number of larger marine vertebrate taxa that warrant the investigation of genetic population structure given remarkable spatial heterogeneity in biological characteristics such as distribution, behavior, and morphology. Here, we investigate the genetic population structure of four commercially exploited shark species with different biological characteristics (Carcharhinus limbatus, Carcharhinus sorrah, Rhizoprionodon acutus, and Sphyrna lewini) between the Red Sea and all other water bodies surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. To assess intraspecific patterns of connectivity, we constructed statistical parsimony networks among haplotypes and estimated (1) population structure; and (2) time of most recent population expansion, based on mitochondrial control region DNA and a total of 20 microsatellites. Our analysis indicates that, even in smaller, less vagile shark species, there are no contemporary barriers to gene flow across the study region, while historical events, for example, Pleistocene glacial cycles, may have affected connectivity in C. sorrah and R. acutus. A parsimony network analysis provided evidence that Arabian S. lewini may represent a population segment that is distinct from other known stocks in the Indian Ocean, raising a new layer of conservation concern. Our results call for urgent regional cooperation to ensure the sustainable exploitation of sharks in the Arabian region.
    • Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

      Rädecker, Nils; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Jörg; Wild, Christian (Trends in Microbiology, Elsevier BV, 2015-04-11) [Article]
      Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.
    • Microsatellite multiplex assay for the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster cf. planci

      Harrison, Hugo B.; Saenz Agudelo, Pablo; Al-Salamah, Manalle; Messmer, Vanessa; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Berumen, Michael L. (Conservation Genetics Resources, Springer Nature, 2015-03-20) [Article]
      Population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster spp.) represent one of the most significant biological disturbances on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Here, we combine 15 published and 11 newly isolated polymorphic microsatellite markers from the coral-eating starfish, A. cf. planci and describe their integration into four multiplex PCRs. All markers were polymorphic with a mean of 11.7 ± 1.9 SE alleles per locus and an average observed heterozygosity of 0.619 ± 0.049 SE across 195 genotyped individuals from the Great Barrier Reef. This multiplex assay provides an effective means of investigating the population dynamics of crown-of-thorns starfish and the initiation and spread of population outbreaks.
    • Extensive phenotypic plasticity of a Red Sea coral over a strong latitudinal temperature gradient suggests limited acclimatization potential to warming

      Sawall, Yvonne; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmoshin; Hohn, Sönke; Banguera Hinestroza, Eulalia; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wahl, Martin (Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2015-03-10) [Article]
      Global warming was reported to cause growth reductions in tropical shallow water corals in both, cooler and warmer, regions of the coral species range. This suggests regional adaptation with less heat-tolerant populations in cooler and more thermo-tolerant populations in warmer regions. Here, we investigated seasonal changes in the in situ metabolic performance of the widely distributed hermatypic coral Pocillopora verrucosa along 12° latitudes featuring a steep temperature gradient between the northern (28.5°N, 21-27°C) and southern (16.5°N, 28-33°C) reaches of the Red Sea. Surprisingly, we found little indication for regional adaptation, but strong indications for high phenotypic plasticity: Calcification rates in two seasons (winter, summer) were found to be highest at 28-29°C throughout all populations independent of their geographic location. Mucus release increased with temperature and nutrient supply, both being highest in the south. Genetic characterization of the coral host revealed low inter-regional variation and differences in the Symbiodinium clade composition only at the most northern and most southern region. This suggests variable acclimatization potential to ocean warming of coral populations across the Red Sea: high acclimatization potential in northern populations, but limited ability to cope with ocean warming in southern populations already existing at the upper thermal margin for corals.
    • Absence of genetic differentiation in the coral Pocillopora verrucosa along environmental gradients of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

      Robitzch Sierra, Vanessa S. N.; Banguera Hinestroza, Eulalia; Sawall, Yvonne; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmohsin; Voolstra, Christian R. (Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media SA, 2015-02-11) [Article]
      The Red Sea is the world's northernmost tropical sea. The 2000 km long, but narrow basin creates distinct environmental conditions along its latitudinal spread. The Red Sea displays a pronounced salinity gradient from 41 to 37 PSU (north to south) with an opposing temperature gradient from 21 to 27°C in the north to 27–33.8°C in the south. The Red Sea further displays a decreasing nutrient gradient from south to north that can also influence underwater light fields due to higher phytoplankton content and turbidity. Despite this strong variation in temperature, salinity, nutrients, and light conditions, the Red Sea supports large and diverse coral reef ecosystems along its nearly entire coastline. Only few studies have targeted whether these prevailing gradients affect genetic connectivity of reef organisms in the Red Sea. In this study, we sampled the abundant reef-building coral Pocillopora verrucosa from 10 reefs along a latitudinal gradient in the Red Sea covering an area of more than 850 km. We used nine Pocillopora microsatellite markers to assess the underlying population genetic structure and effective population size. To assure the exclusion of cryptic species, all analyzed specimens were chosen from a single mitochondrial lineage. Despite large distances between sampled regions covering pronounced, but smooth temperature and salinity gradients, no significant genetic population structure was found. Rather, our data indicate panmixia and considerable gene flow among regions. The absence of population subdivision driven by environmental factors and over large geographic distances suggests efficient larval dispersal and successful settlement of recruits from a wide range of reef sites. It also advocates, broadcast spawning as the main reproductive strategy of Pocillopora verrucosa in the Red Sea as reflected by the absence of clones in sampled colonies. These factors might explain the success of Pocillopora species throughout the Indo-Pacific and Arabian Seas.
    • Mesophotic coral depth acclimatization is a function of host-specific symbiont physiology

      Ziegler, Maren; Roder, Cornelia; Büchel, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R. (Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media SA, 2015-02-06) [Article]
      Mesophotic coral ecosystems receive increasing attention owing to their potential as deep coral refuges in times of global environmental change. Here, the mechanisms of coral holobiont photoacclimatization over a 60 m depth gradient in the central Red Sea were examined for the four coral genera Porites, Leptoseris, Pachyseris, and Podabacia. General acclimatization strategies were common to all host-symbiont combinations, e.g., Symbiodinium cell densities and photoprotective (PP) to light-harvesting pigment ratios both significantly decreased with water depth. Porites harbored Symbiodinium type C15 over the whole 60 m depth range, while Pachyseris and Podabacia had limited vertical distributions and hosted mainly Symbiodinium type C1. Symbiodinium type C15 had generally higher xanthophyll de-epoxidation rates and lower maximum quantum yields than C1, and also exhibited a strong photoacclimatory signal over depth that relates to the large distribution range of Porites. Interestingly, the coral host had an effect on Symbiodinium pigment composition. When comparing Symbiodinium type C1 in Podabacia and Pachyseris, the ß-carotene chl a−1, the peridinin chl a−1, and diadinoxanthin chl a−1 ratios were significantly different between host species. Our data support a view that depth acclimatization of corals in the mesophotics is facilitated by Symbiodinium physiology, which in turn is host-specific.
    • Cyphastreakausti sp. n. (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Scleractinia), a new species of reef coral from the Red Sea

      Berumen, Michael L. ( taxonomic treatments database, 2015) [Dataset]
      This dataset contains the digitized treatments in Plazi based on the original journal article Bouwmeester, Jessica, Benzoni, Francesca, Baird, Andrew H., Berumen, Michael L. (2015): Cyphastreakausti sp. n. (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Scleractinia), a new species of reef coral from the Red Sea. ZooKeys 496: 1-13, DOI:, URL:
    • The ReFuGe 2020 Consortium—using “omics” approaches to explore the adaptability and resilience of coral holobionts to environmental change

      Voolstra, Christian R.; Miller, David J.; Ragan, Mark A.; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Bourne, David G.; Ball, Eldon E.; Ying, Hua; Forêt, Sylvain; Takahashi, Shunichi; Weynberg, Karen D.; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Morrow, Kathleen; Chan, Cheong Xin; Rosic, Nedeljka; Leggat, William; Sprungala, Susanne; Imelfort, Michael; Tyson, Gene W.; Kassahn, Karin S.; Lundgren, Petra B.; Beeden, Roger J.; Ravasi, Timothy; Berumen, Michael L.; Abal, Eva; Fyffe, Theresa (Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media SA, 2015) [Article]
      Human-induced environmental changes have been linked directly with loss of biodiversity. Coral reefs, which have been severely impacted by anthropogenic activities over the last few decades, exemplify this global problem and provide an opportunity to develop research addressing key knowledge gaps through
    • Stable Composition of the Nano- and Picoplankton Community during the Ocean Iron Fertilization Experiment LOHAFEX

      Thiele, Stefan; Wolf, Christian; Schulz, Isabelle Katharina; Assmy, Philipp; Metfies, Katja; Fuchs, Bernhard M. (PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2014-11-17) [Article]
      The iron fertilization experiment LOHAFEX was conducted in a cold-core eddy in the Southern Atlantic Ocean during austral summer. Within a few days after fertilization, a phytoplankton bloom developed dominated by nano- and picoplankton groups. Unlike previously reported for other iron fertilization experiments, a diatom bloom was prevented by iron and silicate co-limitation. We used 18S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing to investigate the diversity of these morphologically similar cell types within the nano- and picoplankton and microscopically enumerated dominant clades after catalyzed reported deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) with specific oligonucleotide probes. In addition to Phaeocystis, members of Syndiniales group II, clade 10–11, and the Micromonas clades ABC and E made up a major fraction of the tag sequences of the nano- and picoplankton community within the fertilized patch. However, the same clades were also dominant before the bloom and outside the fertilized patch. Furthermore, only little changes in diversity could be observed over the course of the experiment. These results were corroborated by CARD-FISH analysis which confirmed the presence of a stable nano- and picoplankton community dominated by Phaeocystis and Micromonas during the entire course of the experiment. Interestingly, although Syndiniales dominated the tag sequences, they could hardly be detected by CARD-FISH, possibly due to the intracellular parasitic life style of this clade. The remarkable stability of the nano- and picoplankton community points to a tight coupling of the different trophic levels within the microbial food web during LOHAFEX.