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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02397

Species-specific differences in the microbiomes and organic exudates of crustose coralline algae influence bacterioplankton communities

  • 1Center for Microbial Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
  • 2San Diego State University Research Foundation, United States
  • 3Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
  • 4California Academy of Sciences, United States
  • 5UCSB Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, United States

Crustose coralline algae (CCA) have been shown to play a significant role in the settlement of coral larvae through either the production of chemical or the facilitation of specific microbial communities. However, recently it has been shown that some species of CCA inhibit this settlement. Moreover, it is largely unknown how the dissolved organic matter (DOM) exudates differ between CCA species and what bacterioplankton communities these exudates facilitate. We conducted single-day exudation experiments on two species of CCA, one which facilitates and one which inhibits coral larval settlement to contrast DOM production and this drives the microbial communities of both the tissue microbiome and bacterioplankton. We collected exudates from Hydrolithon reinboldii and Porolithon onkodes in both filter-sterilized seawater and unfiltered seawater. Our results demonstrate that both species produce equivalent quantities of dissolved organic carbon which differ in composition and facilitate distinct microbial communities. P. onkodes exudates facilitate more OTUs which are more correlated with coral disease, whereas H. reinboldii facilitated OTUs which have been shown to produce antimicrobial compounds. Our results begin to parse the differences in DOM exudation between CCA species and their potential to influence coral larval settlement.

Keywords: Crustose coralline algae (CCA), Dissolved organic matter (DOM), Marine microbial ecology, Marco-algae, microbiome, coral reef ecology, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing

Received: 14 Jun 2019; Accepted: 03 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Quinlan, Ritson-Williams, Carroll, Carlson and Nelson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Zachary A. Quinlan, Center for Microbial Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, 96822, Hawaii, United States,