Phylogenetic survey and antimicrobial activity of culturable microorganisms associated with the South China Sea black coral Antipathes dichotoma

Authors

  • Xiaoyong Zhang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Yulin Sun,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Jie Bao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Fei He,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Xinya Xu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Shuhua Qi

    Corresponding author
    • Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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Correspondence: Shuhua Qi, Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Material Medical/RNAM Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Xingang Road, Guangzhou 510301, China. Tel.: +86 20 8902 2112; fax: +86 20 8445 8964; e-mail: shuhuaqi@scsio.ac.cn

Abstract

Most of our limited knowledge of microbes in corals comes from stony and soft corals; the microbial diversity of black corals is still poorly understood. Microbial diversity of the South China Sea black coral Antipathes dichotoma was investigated using a culture-dependent method followed by analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal internal transcribed spacer sequences. A total of 36 bacterial and 24 fungal isolates were recovered and identified, belonging to three bacterial phyla (Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria) and four fungal orders (Eurotiales, Hypocreales, Pleosporales and Botryosphaeriales). The high level microbial diversity of A. dichotoma is in accordance with previous studies on those of some stony and soft corals. However, the lack of bacterial Gammaproteobacteria phylum in A. dichotoma is in sharp contrast to the stony and soft corals, in which the Gammaproteobacteria phylum is relatively common and abundant. Antimicrobial activities of 21 bacterial and 10 fungal representative isolates (belonging to 21 different bacterial and 10 different fungal species, respectively) were tested against two marine pathogenic bacteria and two marine coral pathogenic fungi. A relatively high proportion (51.6%) of microbial isolates displayed distinct antibacterial and antifungal activities, suggesting that the black coral-associated microorganisms may aid their host in protection against marine pathogens. This is the first report on the diversity of culturable microorganisms associated with black coral. It contributes to our knowledge of black coral-associated microorganisms and further increases the pool of microorganisms available for natural bioactive product screening.

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