Black Band Disease is a persistent, pan geographic, coral disease. Despite its prevalence, the activities of the mat microbiota in the disease process remain unknown. We used metatranscriptomics to unravel the roles of the major mat constituents in the disease process in the coral Favia sp. from the Red Sea. We enriched and sequenced mRNA of the microbial consortium of the mat in BBD affected corals and compared with healthy tissues and healthy colonies. Identification of metabolically active bacteria of the disease front provides us with a glance at the microbial structure and function of the various constituents. Results showed a shift in bacterial composition and function in BBD affected colonies as compared with unaffected colonies. In the mat, members of Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes bacterial phyla are numerous and are metabolically active. These groups are absent in healthy colonies of the same species. The Adenosylhomocysteinase enzyme produced by cyanobacteria and involved in cyanotoxin production, is the most transcribed gene in the band consortium. Members of the Bacilli class found in the mat transcribed high levels of Rhodanase, an enzyme responsible for cyanide detoxification. Vibrios are abundant in several pathogenic and non-pathogenic forms, and are highly active, most of them transcribing the thiamine ABC transporter. Desulfovibrio desulfuricans is the primary producer of sulfide in the band. These data offer a look at the varied functions of the microbiota in the disease mat enabling us to develop a functional model of this disease.


Kramarsky-Winter, E., Ben Gurion University, Israel, esti.winter@gmail.com

Arkoster, L., Ben Gurion University, Israel

Ben Dov, E., Ben Gurion University, Israel, etn@bgu.ac.il

Kushmaro, A., Ben Gurion University, arielkus@bgu.ac.il


Oral presentation

Session #:13
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 13:45
Location: 313 C

Presentation is given by student: No