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dc.contributor.authorRädecker, Nils
dc.contributor.authorPogoreutz, Claudia
dc.contributor.authorGegner, Hagen
dc.contributor.authorCardenas, Anny
dc.contributor.authorRoth, Florian
dc.contributor.authorBougoure, Jeremy
dc.contributor.authorGuagliardo, Paul
dc.contributor.authorWild, Christian
dc.contributor.authorPernice, Mathieu
dc.contributor.authorRaina, Jean-Baptiste
dc.contributor.authorMeibom, Anders
dc.contributor.authorVoolstra, Christian R.
dc.identifier.citationRädecker, N., Pogoreutz, C., Gegner, H. M., Cárdenas, A., Roth, F., Bougoure, J., … Voolstra, C. R. (2021). Heat stress destabilizes symbiotic nutrient cycling in corals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(5), e2022653118. doi:10.1073/pnas.2022653118
dc.description.abstractRecurrent mass bleaching events are pushing coral reefs worldwide to the brink of ecological collapse. While the symptoms and consequences of this breakdown of the coral–algal symbiosis have been extensively characterized, our understanding of the underlying causes remains incomplete. Here, we investigated the nutrient fluxes and the physiological as well as molecular responses of the widespread coral Stylophora pistillata to heat stress prior to the onset of bleaching to identify processes involved in the breakdown of the coral–algal symbiosis. We show that altered nutrient cycling during heat stress is a primary driver of the functional breakdown of the symbiosis. Heat stress increased the metabolic energy demand of the coral host, which was compensated by the catabolic degradation of amino acids. The resulting shift from net uptake to release of ammonium by the coral holobiont subsequently promoted the growth of algal symbionts and retention of photosynthates. Together, these processes form a feedback loop that will gradually lead to the decoupling of carbon translocation from the symbiont to the host. Energy limitation and altered symbiotic nutrient cycling are thus key factors in the early heat stress response, directly contributing to the breakdown of the coral–algal symbiosis. Interpreting the stability of the coral holobiont in light of its metabolic interactions provides a missing link in our understanding of the environmental drivers of bleaching and may ultimately help uncover fundamental processes underpinning the functioning of endosymbioses in general.
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank Dr. Zenon B. Batang and Dr. Nabeel M. Alikunhi for their continuous support and assistance with aquaria maintenance. Further, Ioannis Georgakakis, Mustafa Altunkaya, Gabriela Perna, and Prof. Matt Kilburn are acknowledged for their help and support with sample processing and data analysis. N.R., C.P., A.C., M.P., J.-B.R., and C.R.V. were supported by the KAUST competitive research grant URF/1/3400-01-01. C.R.V. also acknowledges funding from KAUST and the German Research Foundation (DFG), grant 433042944. A.M. is supported by Swiss National Science Foundation, grant 200021_179092.
dc.publisherProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
dc.rightsThis open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
dc.titleHeat stress destabilizes symbiotic nutrient cycling in corals
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division
dc.contributor.departmentMarine Science Program
dc.contributor.departmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
dc.contributor.departmentReef Genomics Lab
dc.identifier.journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDF
dc.contributor.institutionLaboratory for Biological Geochemistry, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Biology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.
dc.contributor.institutionMetabolomics Core Technology Platform, Centre for Organismal Studies, University of Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
dc.contributor.institutionBaltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
dc.contributor.institutionTvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, 10900 Hanko, Finland.
dc.contributor.institutionCentre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.
dc.contributor.institutionMarine Ecology Department, Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
dc.contributor.institutionClimate Change Cluster, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.
dc.contributor.institutionCenter for Advanced Surface Analysis, Institute of Earth Sciences, Université de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
kaust.personRadecker, Nils
kaust.personPogoreutz, Claudia
kaust.personGegner, Hagen
kaust.personCardenas, Anny
kaust.personRoth, Florian
kaust.personVoolstra, Christian R.

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This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
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