Barott, Katie

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • Publication
    Biological Oxygen Demand Optode Analysis of Coral Reef-Associated Microbial Communities Exposed to Algal Exudates
    (2013-07-16) Gregg, Allison K; Hatay, Mark; Haas, Andreas F; Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Vermeij, Mark J.A; Marhaver, Kristen L; Meirelles, Pedro M; Thompson, Fabiano; Rohwer, Forest
    Algae-derived dissolved organic matter has been hypothesized to induce mortality of reef building corals. One proposed killing mechanism is a zone of hypoxia created by rapidly growing microbes. To investigate this hypothesis, biological oxygen demand (BOD) optodes were used to quantify the change in oxygen concentrations of microbial communities following exposure to exudates generated by turf algae and crustose coralline algae (CCA). BOD optodes were embedded with microbial communities cultured from Montastraea annularis and Mussismilia hispida, and respiration was measured during exposure to turf and CCA exudates. The oxygen concentrations along the optodes were visualized with a low-cost Submersible Oxygen Optode Recorder (SOOpR) system. With this system we observed that exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria than CCA exudates or seawater controls. Furthermore, in both turf and CCA exudate treatments, all microbial communities (coral-, algae-associated and pelagic) contributed significantly to the observed oxygen drawdown. This suggests that the driving factor for elevated oxygen consumption rates is the source of exudates rather than the initially introduced microbial community. Our results demonstrate that exudates from turf algae may contribute to hypoxia-induced coral stress in two different coral genera as a result of increased biological oxygen demand of the local microbial community. Additionally, the SOOpR system developed here can be applied to measure the BOD of any culturable microbe or microbial community.
  • Publication
    Immunolocalization of Proteins in Corals: The V-Type H+-ATPase Proton Pump
    (2015-09-05) Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Tresguerres, Martin
    Here we describe the immunolocalization of a membrane-bound proton pump, the V-type H+-ATPase (VHA), in tissues and isolated cells of scleractinian corals. Immunolocalization of coral proteins requires additional steps not required for various model organisms, such as decalcification of the coral skeleton for immunohistochemistry or removal of cells away from the skeleton for immunocytochemistry. The tissue and cell preparation techniques described here can be adapted for localization of other coral proteins, provided the appropriate validation steps have been taken for the primary antibodies and species of coral used. These techniques are important for improving our understanding of coral cell physiology.
  • Publication
    Established and Potential Physiological Roles of Bicarbonate-Sensing Soluble Adenylyl Cyclase (sAC) in Aquatic Animals
    (2014-01-01) Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Barron, Megan E; Roa, Jinae N
    Soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is a recently recognized source of the signaling molecule cyclic AMP (cAMP) that is genetically and biochemically distinct from the classic G-protein-regulated transmembrane adenylyl cyclases (tmACs). Mammalian sAC is distributed throughout the cytoplasm and it may be present in the nucleus and inside mitochondria. sAC activity is directly stimulated by HCO3-, and sAC has been confirmed to be a HCO3- sensor in a variety of mammalian cell types. In addition, sAC can functionally associate with carbonic anhydrases to act as a de facto sensor of pH and CO2. The two catalytic domains of sAC are related to HCO3--regilated adenylyl cyclases from cyanobacteria, suggesting the cAMP pathway is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for sensing CO2 levels and/or acid/base conditions. Reports of sAC in aquatic animals are still limited but are rapidly accumulating. In shark gills, sAC senses blood alkalosis and triggers compensatory H+ absorption. And in sea urchin sperm, sAC may participate in the initiation of flagellar movement and in the acrosome reaction. Bioinformatics and RT-PCR results reveal that sAC orthologs are present in most animal phyla. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the physiological roles of sAC in aquatic animals and suggests additional functions in which sAC may be involved.
  • Publication
    Metagenomic Analysis Indicates that Stressors Induce Production of Herpes-Like Viruses in Coral Porites compressa
    (2008-01-01) Thurber, Rebecca L.V; Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Hall, Dana; Liu, Hong; Rodriguez-Mueller, Beltran; Desnues, Christelle; Edwards, Robert A; Haynes, Matthew; Angly, Florent E; Wegley, Linda; Rohwer, Forest
    During the last several decades corals have been in decline and at least one-third of all coral species are now threatened by extinction. Coral disease has been a major contributor to this threat, but little is known about the responsible pathogens. To date most research has focused on bacterial and fungal diseases; however, viruses may also be important for coral health. Using a combination of empirical viral metagenomics and real-time PCR, we show that Porites compressa corals contain a suite of eukaryotic viruses, many related to the Herpesviridae. This coral-associated viral consortium was found to shift in response to abiotic stressors. In particular, when exposed to reduced pH, elevated nutrients, and thermal stress, the abundance of herpes-like viral sequences rapidly increased in 2 separate experiments. Herpes-like viral sequences were rarely detected in apparently healthy corals, but were abundant in a majority of stressed samples. In addition, surveys of the Nematostella and Hydra genomic projects demonstrate that even distantly related Cnidarians contain numerous herpes-like viral genes, likely as a result of latent or endogenous viral infection. These data support the hypotheses that corals experience viral infections, which are exacerbated by stress, and that herpes-like viruses are common in Cnidarians.
  • Publication
    Natural History of Coral-Algae Competition across a Gradient of Human Activity in the Line Islands
    (2012-07-24) Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Williams, Gareth J; Vermeij, Mark J.A; Harris, Jill; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest; Sandin, Stuart A
    Competition between corals and benthic algae is prevalent on coral reefs worldwide and has the potential to influence the structure of the reef benthos. Human activities may influence the outcome of these interactions by favoring algae to become the superior competitor, and this type of change in competitive dynamics is a potential mechanism driving coral-algal phase shifts. Here we surveyed the types and outcomes of coral-algal interactions varied across reefs on the different islands. On reefs surrounding inhabited islands, however, turf algae were generally the superior competitors. When corals were broken down by size class, we found that the smallest and the largest coral colonies were the best competitors against algae; the former successfully fought off algae while being completely surrounded, and the latter generally avoided algal overgrowth by growing up above the benthos. Our data suggest that human disruption of the reef ecosystem may lead to a building pattern of competitive disadvantage for corals against encroaching algae, potentially initiating a transition towards algal dominance.
  • Publication
    Assessing Coral Reefs on a Pacific-Wide Scale Using the Microbialization Score
    (2012-09-07) McDole, Tracey; Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Feits, Ben; Hand, Carol; Hatay, Mark; Lee, Hochul; Nadon, Mark O; Nosrat, Bahador; Salamon, Peter; Bailey, Barbara; Sandin, Stuart A; Vargas-Angel, Bernardo; Youle, Merry; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Brainard, Russell E; Rohwer, Forest
    The majority of the world's coral reefs are in various stages of decline. While a suite of disturbances (overfishing, eutrophication, and global climate change) have been identified, the mechanism(s) of reef system decline remain elusive. Increased microbial and viral loading with higher percentages of opportunistic and specific microbial pathogens have been identified as potentially unifying features of coral reefs in decline. Due to their relative size and high per cell activity, a small change in microbial biomass may signal a large reallocation of available energy in an ecosystem; that is the microbialization of the coral reef. Our hypothesis was that human activities alter the energy budget of the reef system, specifically by altering the allocation of metabolic energy between microbes and macrobes. To determine if this is occurring on a regional scale, we calculated the basal metabolic rates for the fish and microbial communities at 99 sites on twenty-nine coral islands throughout the Pacific Ocean using previously established scaling relationships. From these metabolic rate predictions, we derived a new metric for assessing and comparing reef health called the microbialization score. The microbialization score represents the percentage of the combined fish and microbial predicted metabolic rate that is microbial. Our results demonstrate a strong positive correlation between reef microbialization scores and human impact. In contrast, microbialization scores did not significantly correlate with ocean net primary production, local chla concentrations, or the combined metabolic rate of the fish and microbial communities. These findings support the hypothesis that human activities are shifting energy to the microbes, at the expense of the macrobes. Regardless of oceanographic context, the microbialization score is a powerful metric for assessing the level of human impact a reef system is experiencing.
  • Publication
    High Adenylyl Cyclase Activity and In Vivo cAMP Fluctuations in Corals Suggest Central Physiological Role
    (2013-03-05) Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Helman, Y.; Haramaty, L.; Barron, Megan E; Hess, K. C; Buck, J.; Levin, L. R; Tresguerres, Martin
    Corals are an ecologically and evolutionarily significant group, providing the framework for coral reef biodiversity while representing one of the most basal of metazoan phyla. However, little is known about fundamental signaling pathways in corals. Here we investigate the dynamics of cAMP, a conserved signaling molecule that can regulate virtually every physiological process. Bioinformatics revealed corals have both transmembrane and soluble adenylyl cyclases (AC). Endogenous cAMP levels in live corals followed a potential diel cycle, as they were higher during the day compared to the middle of the night. Coral homogenates exhibited some of the highest cAMP production rates ever to be recorded in any organism; this activity was inhibited by calcium ions and stimulated by bicarbonate. In contrast, zooxanthellae or mucus had >1000-fold lower AC activity. These results suggest that cAMP is an important regulator of coral physiology, especially in response to light, acid/base disturbances and inorganic carbon levels.
  • Publication
    Evolution of TNF-Induced Apoptosis Reveals 550 My of Functional Conservation
    (2014-01-01) Quistad, Steven D; Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Smurthwaite, Cameron A; Hilton, Brett J; Grasis, Juris A; Wolkowicz, Roland; Rohwer, Forest
    The Precambrian explosion led to the rapid appearance of most major animal phyla alive today. It has been argued that the complexity of life has steadily increased since that event. Here we challenge this hypothesis through the characterization of apoptosis in reef-building corals, representatives of some of the earliest animals. Bioinformatic analysis reveals that all of the major components of the death receptor pathway are present in coral with high-predicted structural conservation with Homo sapiens. The TNF receptor-ligand superfamilies (TNFRSF/TNFSF) are central mediators of the death receptor pathway, and the predicted proteome of Acropora digitifera contains more putative coral TNFRSF members than any organism described thus far, including humans. This high abundance of TNFRSF members, as well as the predicted structural conservation of other death receptor signaling proteins, led us to wonder what would happen if corals were exposed to a member of the human TNFSF (HuTNFα). HuTNFα was found to bind directly to coral cells, increase caspase activity, cause apoptotic blebbing and cell death, and finally induce coral bleaching. Next, immortalized human T cells (Jurkats) expressing a functional death receptor pathway (WT) and a corresponding Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD) KO cell line were exposed to a coral TNFSF member (AdTNF1) identified and purified here. AdTNF1 treatment resulted in significantly higher cell death (P < 0.0001) in WT Jurkats compared with the corresponding FADD KO, demonstrating that coral AdTNF1 activates the H. sapiens death receptor pathway. Taken together, these data show remarkable conservation of the TNF-induced apoptotic response representing 550 My of functional conservation.
  • Publication
    Hyperspectral and Physiological Analyses of Coral-Algal Interactions
    (2009-01-01) Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Smith, Jennifer; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Hatay, Mark; Sandin, Stuart A; Rohwer, Forest
    Space limitation leads to competition between benthic, sessile organisms on coral reefs. As a primary example, reef-building corals are in direct contact with each other and many different species and functional groups of algae. Here we characterize interactions between three coral genera and three algal functional groups using a combination of hyperspectral imaging and oxygen microprofiling. We also performed in situ interaction transects to quantify the relative occurrence of these interaction on coral reefs. These studies were conducted in the Southern Line Islands, home to some of the most remote and near-pristine reefs in the world. Our goal was to determine if different types of coral-coral and coral-algal interactions were characterized by unique fine-scale physiological signatures. This is the first report using hyperspectral imaging for characterization of marine benthic organisms at the micron scale and proved to be a valuable tool for discriminating among different photosynthetic organisms. Consistent patterns emerged in physiology across different types of competitive interactions. In cases where corals were in direct contact with turf or macroalgae, there was a zone of hypoxia and altered pigmentation on the coral. In contrast, interaction zones between corals and crustose coralline algae (CCA) were not hypoxic and the coral tissue was consistent across the colony. Our results suggest that at least two main characteristic coral interaction phenotypes exist: 1) hypoxia and coral tissue disruption, seen with interactions between corals and some species of CCA. Hyperspectral imaging in combination with oxygen profiling provided useful information on competitive interactions between benthic reef organisms, and demonstrated that some turf and fleshy macroalgae can be constant source of stress for corals, while CCA are not.
  • Publication
    Microbial Community Structure Affects Marine Dissolved Organic Matter Composition
    (2016-04-05) Kujawinski, Elizabeth B; Barott, Katie; Barott, Katie; Weber, Ralf J.M; Kido Soule, Melissa C
    Marine microbes are critical players in the global carbon cycle, affecting both the reduction of inorganic carbon and the remineralization of reduced organic compounds back to carbon dioxide. Members of microbial consortia all depend on marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) and in turn, affect the molecules present in this heterogeneous pool. Our understanding of DOM produced by marine microbes is biased toward single species laboratory cultures or simplified field incubations, which exclude large phototrophs and protozoan grazers. Here we explore the interdependence of DOM composition and bacterial diversity in two mixed microbial consortia from coastal seawater: a whole water community and a