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Life 2014, 4(4), 968-987;

Ecology and Physiology of the Pathogenic Cyanobacterium Roseofilum reptotaenium

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
Current address: Algenol Biofuels Incorporated, Fort Myers, FL 33912, USA
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
PDF [1164 KB, uploaded 15 December 2014]


Roseofilum reptotaenium is a gliding, filamentous, phycoerythrin-rich cyanobacterium that has been found only in the horizontally migrating, pathogenic microbial mat, black band disease (BBD) on Caribbean corals. R. reptotaenium dominates the BBD mat in terms of biomass and motility, and the filaments form the mat fabric. This cyanobacterium produces the cyanotoxin microcystin, predominately MC-LR, and can tolerate high levels of sulfide produced by sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) that are also associated with BBD. Laboratory cultures of R. reptotaenium infect coral fragments, suggesting that the cyanobacterium is the primary pathogen of BBD, but since this species cannot grow axenically and Koch’s Postulates cannot be fulfilled, it cannot be proposed as a primary pathogen. However, R. reptotaenium does play several major pathogenic roles in this polymicrobial disease. Here, we provide an overview of the ecology of this coral pathogen and present new information on R. reptotaenium ecophysiology, including roles in the infection process, chemotactic and other motility responses, and the effect of pH on growth and motility. Additionally, we show, using metabolomics, that exposure of the BBD microbial community to the cyanotoxin MC-LR affects community metabolite profiles, in particular those associated with nucleic acid biosynthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; black band disease; pathogen; polymicrobial disease; Roseofilum reptotaenium; metabolomics cyanobacteria; black band disease; pathogen; polymicrobial disease; Roseofilum reptotaenium; metabolomics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Richardson, L.L.; Stanić, D.; May, A.; Brownell, A.; Gantar, M.; Campagna, S.R. Ecology and Physiology of the Pathogenic Cyanobacterium Roseofilum reptotaenium. Life 2014, 4, 968-987.

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