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Open AccessArticle

The Algal Symbiont Modifies the Transcriptome of the Scleractinian Coral Euphyllia paradivisa during Heat Stress

1
The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
2
Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
3
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
4
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
5
The Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
6
Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(8), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080256
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macro and Microorganism Interactions)
The profound mutualistic symbiosis between corals and their endosymbiotic counterparts, Symbiodiniaceae algae, has been threatened by the increase in seawater temperatures, leading to breakdown of the symbiotic relationship—coral bleaching. To characterize the heat-stress response of the holobiont, we generated vital apo-symbiotic Euphyllia paradivisa corals that lacked the endosymbiotic algae. Using RNA sequencing, we analyzed the gene expression of these apo-symbionts vs. symbiotic ones, to test the effect of the algal presence on the tolerance of the coral. We utilized literature-derived lists of “symbiosis differentially expressed genes” and “coral heat-stress genes” in order to compare between the treatments. The symbiotic and apo-symbiotic samples were segregated into two separate groups with several different enriched gene ontologies. Our findings suggest that the presence of endosymbionts has a greater negative impact on the host than the environmental temperature conditions experienced by the holobiont. The peak of the stress reaction was identified as 28 °C, with the highest number of differentially expressed genes. We suggest that the algal symbionts increase coral holobiont susceptibility to elevated temperatures. Currently, we can only speculate whether coral species, such as E. paradivisa, with the plasticity to also flourish as apo-symbionts, may have a greater chance to withstand the upcoming global climate change challenge. View Full-Text
Keywords: holobiont; heat-stress; algal symbiont; coral; Euphyllia paradivisa; apo-symbiont holobiont; heat-stress; algal symbiont; coral; Euphyllia paradivisa; apo-symbiont
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MDPI and ACS Style

Meron, D.; Maor-Landaw, K.; Weizman, E.; Waldman Ben-Asher, H.; Eyal, G.; Banin, E.; Loya, Y.; Levy, O. The Algal Symbiont Modifies the Transcriptome of the Scleractinian Coral Euphyllia paradivisa during Heat Stress. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 256. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080256

AMA Style

Meron D, Maor-Landaw K, Weizman E, Waldman Ben-Asher H, Eyal G, Banin E, Loya Y, Levy O. The Algal Symbiont Modifies the Transcriptome of the Scleractinian Coral Euphyllia paradivisa during Heat Stress. Microorganisms. 2019; 7(8):256. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080256

Chicago/Turabian Style

Meron, Dalit; Maor-Landaw, Keren; Weizman, Eviatar; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Eyal, Gal; Banin, Ehud; Loya, Yossi; Levy, Oren. 2019. "The Algal Symbiont Modifies the Transcriptome of the Scleractinian Coral Euphyllia paradivisa during Heat Stress" Microorganisms 7, no. 8: 256. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080256

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