Journal article

Metamorphosis of a scleractinian coral in response to microbial biofilms

NS Webster, LD Smith, AJ Heyward, JEM Watts, RI Webb, LL Blackall, AP Negri

Applied and Environmental Microbiology | AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY | Published : 2004

Abstract

Microorganisms have been reported to induce settlement and metamorphosis in a wide range of marine invertebrate species. However, the primary cue reported for metamorphosis of coral larvae is calcareous coralline algae (CCA). Herein we report the community structure of developing coral reef biofilms and the potential role they play in triggering the metamorphosis of a scleractinian coral. Two-week-old biofilms induced metamorphosis in less than 10% of larvae, whereas metamorphosis increased significantly on older biofilms, with a maximum of 41% occurring on 8-week-old microbial films. There was a significant influence of depth in 4- and 8-week biofilms, with greater levels of metamorphosis o..

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University of Melbourne Researchers