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The Seagrass Holobiont: What We Know and What We Still Need to Disclose for Its Possible Use as an Ecological Indicator

1
PhD Program in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
3
Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), via Vitaliano Brancati 48, 00144 Rome, Italy
4
Department of Marine Biotechnology, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
5
The Dead Sea-Arava Science Center (ADSSC), Masada 86910, Israel
6
Eilat Campus, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Eilat 88100, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manel Leira
Water 2021, 13(4), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040406
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 29 January 2021 / Published: 4 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecotoxicity Assessment)
Microbes and seagrass establish symbiotic relationships constituting a functional unit called the holobiont that reacts as a whole to environmental changes. Recent studies have shown that the seagrass microbial associated community varies according to host species, environmental conditions and the host’s health status, suggesting that the microbial communities respond rapidly to environmental disturbances and changes. These changes, dynamics of which are still far from being clear, could represent a sensitive monitoring tool and ecological indicator to detect early stages of seagrass stress. In this review, the state of art on seagrass holobiont is discussed in this perspective, with the aim of disentangling the influence of different factors in shaping it. As an example, we expand on the widely studied Halophila stipulacea’s associated microbial community, highlighting the changing and the constant components of the associated microbes, in different environmental conditions. These studies represent a pivotal contribution to understanding the holobiont’s dynamics and variability pattern, and to the potential development of ecological/ecotoxicological indices. The influences of the host’s physiological and environmental status in changing the seagrass holobiont, alongside the bioinformatic tools for data analysis, are key topics that need to be deepened, in order to use the seagrass-microbial interactions as a source of ecological information. View Full-Text
Keywords: seagrass holobiont; ecological indicators; microbial indicators seagrass holobiont; ecological indicators; microbial indicators
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MDPI and ACS Style

Conte, C.; Rotini, A.; Manfra, L.; D’Andrea, M.M.; Winters, G.; Migliore, L. The Seagrass Holobiont: What We Know and What We Still Need to Disclose for Its Possible Use as an Ecological Indicator. Water 2021, 13, 406. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040406

AMA Style

Conte C, Rotini A, Manfra L, D’Andrea MM, Winters G, Migliore L. The Seagrass Holobiont: What We Know and What We Still Need to Disclose for Its Possible Use as an Ecological Indicator. Water. 2021; 13(4):406. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040406

Chicago/Turabian Style

Conte, Chiara; Rotini, Alice; Manfra, Loredana; D’Andrea, Marco M.; Winters, Gidon; Migliore, Luciana. 2021. "The Seagrass Holobiont: What We Know and What We Still Need to Disclose for Its Possible Use as an Ecological Indicator" Water 13, no. 4: 406. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040406

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