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Thermal and sedimentation stress are unlikely causes of brown spot syndrome in the Coral Reef Sponge, Ianthella basta

Luter, Heidi M., Whalan, Steve and Webster, Nicole S. (2012). Thermal and sedimentation stress are unlikely causes of brown spot syndrome in the Coral Reef Sponge, Ianthella basta. PloS ONE,7(6):e39779.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Thermal and sedimentation stress are unlikely causes of brown spot syndrome in the Coral Reef Sponge, Ianthella basta
Author Luter, Heidi M.
Whalan, Steve
Webster, Nicole S.
Journal Name PloS ONE
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 7
Issue Number 6
ISSN 1932-6203   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84862665620
Start Page e39779
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Abstract Background: Marine diseases are being increasingly linked to anthropogenic factors including global and local stressors. On the Great Barrier Reef, up to 66% of the Ianthella basta population was recently found to be afflicted by a syndrome characterized by brown spot lesions and necrotic tissue.

Methodology/Principal Findings: Manipulative experiments were undertaken to ascertain the role of environmental stressors in this syndrome. Specifically, the effects of elevated temperature and sedimentation on sponge health and symbiont stability in I. basta were examined. Neither elevated temperature nor increased sedimentation were responsible for the brown spot lesions, but sponges exposed to 32uC developed substantial discoloration and deterioration of their tissues, resulting in death after eight days and a higher microbial diversity in those samples. No shifts in the microbial community of I. basta were observed across a latitudinal gradient or with increased sedimentation, with three previously described symbionts dominating the community of all sponges (Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and
Thaumarchaea).

Conclusions/Significance: Results from this study highlight the stable microbial community of I. basta and indicate that thermal and sedimentation stress are not responsible for the brown spot lesions currently affecting this abundant and
ecologically important sponge species.
Keywords Thermal and Sedimentation Stress
Brown Spot Syndrome
Coral Reef Sponge
Ianthella basta
marine diseases
Great Barrier Reef
brown spot lesions
necrotic tissue
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039779   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)


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Created: Mon, 15 Oct 2012, 12:50:01 CST by Teresa Haendel