Coral-Associated Viral Assemblages From the Central Red Sea Align With Host Species and Contribute to Holobiont Genetic Diversity
Payet, Jérôme P.
Vega Thurber, Rebecca
Voolstra, Christian R.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Marine Science Program
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Reef Genomics Lab
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/665690
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AbstractCoral reefs are highly diverse marine ecosystems increasingly threatened on a global scale. The foundation species of reef ecosystems are stony corals that depend on their symbiotic microalgae and bacteria for aspects of their metabolism, immunity, and environmental adaptation. Conversely, the function of viruses in coral biology is less well understood, and we are missing an understanding of the diversity and function of coral viruses, particularly in understudied regions such as the Red Sea. Here we characterized coral-associated viruses using a large metagenomic and metatranscriptomic survey across 101 cnidarian samples from the central Red Sea. While DNA and RNA viral composition was different across coral hosts, biological traits such as coral life history strategy correlated with patterns of viral diversity. Coral holobionts were broadly associated with Mimiviridae and Phycodnaviridae that presumably infect protists and algal cells, respectively. Further, Myoviridae and Siphoviridae presumably target members of the bacterial phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria, whereas Hepadnaviridae and Retroviridae might infect the coral host. Genes involved in bacterial virulence and auxiliary metabolic genes were common among the viral sequences, corroborating a contribution of viruses to the holobiont’s genetic diversity. Our work provides a first insight into Red Sea coral DNA and RNA viral assemblages and reveals that viral diversity is consistent with global coral virome patterns.
CitationCárdenas, A., Ye, J., Ziegler, M., Payet, J. P., McMinds, R., Vega Thurber, R., & Voolstra, C. R. (2020). Coral-Associated Viral Assemblages From the Central Red Sea Align With Host Species and Contribute to Holobiont Genetic Diversity. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.572534
SponsorsWe thank Craig J. Michell for help with sequencing library generation and the KAUST Bioscience Core Lab for sequencing. We further would like to thank KAUST CMOR for assistance with boats and diving. Funding. This work was supported by the KAUST SEED Fund “Red Sea viruses” and KAUST baseline funding to CRV. This work was also funded by National Science Foundation Grants #DOB 1442306 to RVT and #OCE-1635913 to RVT.
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
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