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Coral-associated viruses and bacteria in the Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Abstract : Viruses inhabiting the surface mucus layer of scleractinian corals have received little ecological attention so far. Yet they have recently been shown to be highly abundant and could even play a pivotal role in coral health. A fundamental aspect that remains unresolved is whether their abundance and diversity change with the trophic state of their environment. The present study examined the variability in the abundance of viral and bacterial epibionts on 13 coral species collected from 2 different sites in the Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: one station heavily affected by anthropogenic activity (Cat Ba Island) and one protected offshore station (Long Chau Island). In general, viral abundance was significantly higher in coral mucus (mean = 10.6 +/- 2.0 x 10(7) virus-like particles ml(-1)) than in the surrounding water (5.2 +/- 1.3 x 10(7) virus-like particles ml(-1)). Concomitantly, the abundance and community diversity (inferred from phylogenetic and morphological analyses) of their mucosal bacterial hosts strongly differed from their planktonic counterparts. Surprisingly, despite large differences in water quality and nutrient concentrations between Cat Ba and Long Chau, there were no significant differences in the concentrations of epibiotic viruses and bacteria measured in the only 2 coral species (i.e. Pavona decussata and Lobophyllia flabelliformis) that were common at both sites. The ability of corals to shed bacteria to compensate for their fast growth in nutrient-rich mucus is questioned here.
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Soumis le : mercredi 14 novembre 2018 - 09:59:13
Dernière modification le : lundi 11 octobre 2021 - 13:24:28

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The Thu Pham, van Thuoc Chu, Thu Viet Ha Bui, Thanh Thuy Nguyen, Quang Huy Tran, et al.. Coral-associated viruses and bacteria in the Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Inter Research, 2015, 76 (2), pp.149 - 161. ⟨10.3354/ame01775⟩. ⟨hal-01921797⟩



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