High inorganic phosphate concentration in coral mucus and its utilization by heterotrophic bacteria in a Malaysian coral reef

Authors

  • Ryota Nakajima,

    Corresponding author
    1. Marine Biodiversity Research Program, Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
    • Correspondence

      Ryota Nakajima, Marine Biodiversity Research Program, Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan.

      E-mail: nakajimar@jamstec.go.jp

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  • Yasuaki Tanaka,

    1. Sesoko Station, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Motobu, Okinawa, Japan
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  • Teruaki Yoshida,

    1. Marine Ecosystem Research Centre, Faculty of Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
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  • Tamami Fujisawa,

    1. Department of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Faculty of Engineering, Soka University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Asami Nakayama,

    1. Department of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Faculty of Engineering, Soka University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Yumi Fuchinoue,

    1. Department of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Faculty of Engineering, Soka University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Bin Haji Ross Othman,

    1. Marine Ecosystem Research Centre, Faculty of Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
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  • Tatsuki Toda

    1. Department of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Faculty of Engineering, Soka University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
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Abstract

Inorganic nutrient contents of mucus released by Acropora corals and its utilization by heterotrophic bacteria at several different hour intervals in the coral mucus were investigated at a coral reef in Malaysia. The dissolved inorganic phosphate (DIP) concentration was 135-fold higher than in the ambient seawater, probably due to inorganic P release from the coral gut cavity. We experimentally confirmed that heterotrophic bacteria rapidly (within 8 h) consumed ca. 80% of the initial concentration of DIP derived from coral mucus. High DIP concentration in coral mucus may enhance heterotrophic bacterial production and associated carbon flow in the microbial loop of reef ecosystems.

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