Join our Whatsapp Group, or +249 90 290 9260 (Whatsapp/Signal)

Using probiotic bacteria to protect against coral bleaching

Using probiotic bacteria to protect against coral bleaching

coralCredit: CC0 Public Domain

Images of bare, naked white coral reefs have been increasingly circulating around the world. The typically colorful reefs of tropical oceans, which are home to many species of the marine ecosystem, are suffering from rising water temperatures due to global warming. There is no heat relief for the corals in sight. Scientists are desperately seeking out ways to make the temperature-sensitive organisms more resistant to heat stress. A group of scientists led by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel are developing a promising approach, which is based on a therapeutic treatment known from human medicine. The study was published in the international journal Microbiome.

"The idea is that probiotic bacteria with beneficial functions could help a coral to better withstand stress," explains Dr. Anna Roik from GEOMAR, lead author of the study, which was funded as part of a Future Ocean Network project at Kiel University. "In the current study, we tested the approach of a 'microbiome transplantation,' inspired by microbiome-based applications we know for example from clinical treatments," Roik continues.

The research group conducted coral microbiome transplantation experiments with the reef-building corals Pocillopora and Porites in the Andaman Sea in Thailand. They investigated whether this technique can improve the heat resistance of corals by modifying the bacterial microbiome. The scientists first looked for more heat-tolerant "donor" corals. "We then used material from the tissue of the donor corals to inoculate conspecific, heat-sensitive recipients and then documented their bleaching responses and microbiome changes using a genetic analysis method called 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding," explains Dr. Roik.

The recipient corals of both species bleached more mildly compared to the during a short-term heat stress test (34 °C). "The results show that the inoculated corals were able to resist the response for a short time," explains Prof. Dr. Ute Hentschel Humeida, head of the Marine Symbioses Research Unit at GEOMAR and co-author of the study. "In addition, the microbiome data suggest that the 'inoculated' corals may favor the uptake of putative bacterial symbionts," Dr. Anna Roik continues. "However, further experimental studies are required to unravel the exact mechanism of action, as well as long-term field-based studies to test the durability of the effect," says the marine biologist, looking ahead.

Explore further

More information: Talisa Doering et al, Towards enhancing coral heat tolerance: a "microbiome transplantation" treatment using inoculations of homogenized coral tissues, Microbiome (2021). DOI: 10.1186/s40168-021-01053-6

Provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

(Originally posted by Association)
Jurassic squid got murdered mid-meal, leaving this...
A look at the past week, busy 's be like. The fir...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 25 June 2021

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://oc3anclub.com/

Henri Hemmerechts
07 May 2021
DIVING
A team of researchers is trying to unravel a mystery surrounding a letter they think may have been written by a young girl on board the Titanic on the eve of its sinking. A family came across the miss...
Henri Hemmerechts
05 March 2021
DIVING
'A spectacular moment was captured on camera which shows a free diver enjoying some company under the water. Recorded on December 12, 2020, in Honolulu, this underwater clip features Brittany Lewish a...
Henri Hemmerechts
09 March 2021
OCEAN STORIES
The fresh, coastal air awaits when you book your next family vacation at one of these charming lighthouses. From a private island in Maine to some beauties along the Northern California coast, these l...
Henri Hemmerechts
16 April 2021
GOBLU3
DOMINION, N.S. — A Cape Breton woman is disturbed and saddened after discovering multiple decapitated seals on the shores of two different beaches in Cape Breton this week. Kimberly Hayman, who has be...