Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

2016

Publication Source

The ISME Journal

Volume

10

Start Page

1157

Last Page

1169

DOI

10.1038/ismej.2015.190

Abstract

Coral and algal holobionts are assemblages of macroorganisms and microorganisms, including viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, protists and fungi. Despite a decade of research, it remains unclear whether these associations are spatial-temporally stable of species-specific. We hypothesized that conflicting interpretations of the data arise from high noise associated with sporadic microbial symbionts overwhelming signatures of stable holobiont members. To test this hypothesis, the bacterial communities associated with three coral species (Acropora rosaria, Acropora hyacinthus and Porites lutea) and two algal guilds (crustose coralline algae and turf algae) from 131 samples were analyzed using a novel statistical approach termed the Abundance-Ubiquity (AU) test. The AU test determines whether a given bacterial species would be present given additional sampling effort (that is, stable) versus those species that are sporadically associated with a sample. Using the AU test, we show that coral and algal holobionts have a high-diversity group of stable symbionts. Stable symbionts are not exclusive to one species of coral or algae. No single bacterial species was ubiquitously associated with one host, showing that there is not strict heredity of the microbiome. In addition to the stable symbionts, there was a low-diversity community of sporadice symbionts whose abundance varied widely across individual holobionts of the same species. Identification of these two symbiont communities supports the holobiont model and calls into question the hologenome theory of evolution.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

.

Comments

At the time of this publication, Dr. Barott was affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, but she is now a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania.

Share

COinS
 

Date Posted: 04 October 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.