Coral health is under threat throughout the world due to regional and global stressors. White plague disease (WP) is one of the most important threats affecting the major reef builder of the Abrolhos Bank in Brazil, the endemic coral Mussismilia braziliensis. We performed a metagenomic analysis of healthy and WP-affected M. braziliensis in order to determine the types of microbes associated with this coral species. We also optimized a protocol for DNA extraction from coral tissues. Our taxonomic analysis revealed Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinomycetes as the main groups in all healthy and WP-affected corals. Vibrionales, members of the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides complex, Rickettsiales, and Neisseriales were more abundant in the WP-affected corals. Diseased corals also had more eukaryotic metagenomic sequences identified as Alveolata and Apicomplexa. Our results suggest that WP disease in M. braziliensis is caused by a polymicrobial consortium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Soil Science