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Article Dans Une Revue Environmental Microbiology Année : 2015

The versatile nature of coral-associated viruses


A recent hypothesis considers that many coral pathologies are the result of a sudden structural alteration of the epibiotic bacterial communities in response to environmental disturbances. However, the ecological mechanisms that lead to shifts in their composition are still unclear. In the ocean, viruses represent a major bactericidal agent but little is known on their occurrence within the coral holobiont. Recent reports have revealed that viruses are abundant and diversified within the coral mucus and therefore could be decisive for coral health. However, their mode of action is still unknown, and there is now an urgent need to shed light on the nature of the relationships they might have with the other prokaryotic and eukaryotic members of the holobiont. In this opinion letter, we are putting forward the hypothesis that coral-associated viruses (mostly bacterial and algal viruses), depending on the environmental conditions might either reinforce coral stability or conversely fasten their decline. We propose that these processes are presumably based on an environmentally driven shift in infection strategies allowing viruses to regulate, circumstantially, both coral symbionts (bacteria or Symbiodinium) and surrounding pathogens.

Dates et versions

hal-01920658 , version 1 (13-11-2018)



Yvan Bettarel, Thierry Bouvier, Hanh Kim Nguyen, Pham The Thu. The versatile nature of coral-associated viruses. Environmental Microbiology, 2015, 17 (10), pp.3433 - 3439. ⟨10.1111/1462-2920.12579⟩. ⟨hal-01920658⟩
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