Present address: Jamie L. Myers, Miami Institute for Human Genomics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
Adaptation of cyanobacteria to the sulfide-rich microenvironment of black band disease of coral
Article first published online: 19 NOV 2008
© 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 67, Issue 2, pages 242–251, February 2009
How to Cite
Myers, J. L. and Richardson, L. L. (2009), Adaptation of cyanobacteria to the sulfide-rich microenvironment of black band disease of coral. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 67: 242–251. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00619.x
Editor: Gary King
- Issue published online: 22 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 19 NOV 2008
- Received 16 June 2008; revised 17 September 2008; accepted 24 September 2008.First published online 19 November 2008.
- black band disease;
Black band disease (BBD) is a cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mat that migrates across living coral colonies lysing coral tissue and leaving behind exposed coral skeleton. The mat is sulfide-rich due to the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria, integral members of the BBD microbial community, and the sulfide they produce is lethal to corals. The effect of sulfide, normally toxic to cyanobacteria, on the photosynthetic capabilities of five BBD cyanobacterial isolates of the genera Geitlerinema (3), Leptolyngbya (1), and Oscillatoria (1) and six non-BBD cyanobacteria of the genera Leptolyngbya (3), Pseudanabaena (2), and Phormidium (1) was examined. Photosynthetic experiments were performed by measuring the photoincorporation of [14C] NaHCO3 under the following conditions: (1) aerobic (no sulfide), (2) anaerobic with 0.5 mM sulfide, and (3) anaerobic with 0.5 mM sulfide and 10 μM 3-(3′,4′-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU). All five BBD cyanobacterial isolates tolerated sulfide by conducting sulfide-resistant oxygenic photosynthesis. Five of the non-BBD cyanobacterial isolates did not tolerate sulfide, although one Pseudanabaena isolate continued to photosynthesize in the presence of sulfide at a considerably reduced rate. None of the isolates conducted anoxygenic photosynthesis with sulfide as an electron donor. This is the first report on the physiology of a culture of Oscillatoria sp. found globally in BBD.