A ubiquitous subcuticular bacterial symbiont of a coral predator, the crown-of-thorns starfish, in the Indo-Pacific

Naohisa Wada, Hideaki Yuasa, Rei Kajitani, Yasuhiro Gotoh, Yoshitoshi Ogura, Dai Yoshimura, Atsushi Toyoda, Sen Lin Tang, Yukihiro Higashimura, Hugh Sweatman, Zac Forsman, Omri Bronstein, Gal Eyal, Nalinee Thongtham, Takehiko Itoh, Tetsuya Hayashi, Nina Yasuda

研究成果: Contribution to journalArticle査読

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Background: Population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci sensu lato; COTS), a primary predator of reef-building corals in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, are a major threat to coral reefs. While biological and ecological knowledge of COTS has been accumulating since the 1960s, little is known about its associated bacteria. The aim of this study was to provide fundamental information on the dominant COTS-associated bacteria through a multifaceted molecular approach. Methods: A total of 205 COTS individuals from 17 locations throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean were examined for the presence of COTS-associated bacteria. We conducted 16S rRNA metabarcoding of COTS to determine the bacterial profiles of different parts of the body and generated a full-length 16S rRNA gene sequence from a single dominant bacterium, which we designated COTS27. We performed phylogenetic analysis to determine the taxonomy, screening of COTS27 across the Indo-Pacific, FISH to visualize it within the COTS tissues, and reconstruction of the bacterial genome from the hologenome sequence data. Results: We discovered that a single bacterium exists at high densities in the subcuticular space in COTS forming a biofilm-like structure between the cuticle and the epidermis. COTS27 belongs to a clade that presumably represents a distinct order (so-called marine spirochetes) in the phylum Spirochaetes and is universally present in COTS throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The reconstructed genome of COTS27 includes some genetic traits that are probably linked to adaptation to marine environments and evolution as an extracellular endosymbiont in subcuticular spaces. Conclusions: COTS27 can be found in three allopatric COTS species, ranging from the northern Red Sea to the Pacific, implying that the symbiotic relationship arose before the speciation events (approximately 2 million years ago). The universal association of COTS27 with COTS and nearly mono-specific association at least with the Indo-Pacific COTS provides a useful model system for studying symbiont-host interactions in marine invertebrates and may have applications for coral reef conservation. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

本文言語英語
論文番号123
ジャーナルMicrobiome
8
1
DOI
出版ステータス出版済み - 8 24 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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