Navigation Links
Viruses linked to algae that control coral health
Date:7/11/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. Scientists have discovered two viruses that appear to infect the single-celled microalgae that reside in corals and are important for coral growth and health, and they say the viruses could play a role in the serious decline of coral ecosystems around the world.

These viruses, including an RNA virus never before isolated from a coral, have been shown for the first time to clearly be associated with these microalgae called Symbiodinium. If it's proven that they are infecting those algae and causing disease, it will be another step toward understanding the multiple threats that coral reefs are facing.

The research was published today in the ISME Journal, in work supported by the National Science Foundation.

"We're way behind in our knowledge of how viral disease may affect coral health," said Adrienne Correa, a researcher with the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University. "If viral infection is causing some bleaching, it could be important in the death of corals and contribute to reef decline. This potential threat from viruses is just starting to be recognized."

Corals co-exist with these algae in a symbiotic relationship, scientists say, in which the algae provide energy to the coral, and contribute to the construction of reefs. The coral in turn offers a place for the algae to live and provides nutrients for it.

Corals and viruses have evolved along with their resident algae for millions of years. They have persisted through previous climate oscillations, and the presence of viruses within corals or their algae doesn't necessarily indicate they are affecting coral colony health. If viruses are causing disease or bleaching of colonies, it's also unknown whether this is happening now more than in the past.

"Corals are known to face various environmental threats, such a warming temperatures, competition and pollution," Correa said. "Some of the environmental changes of the past were likely more gradual and allowed the coral and its associates more time to adapt.

"The stresses challenging coral reefs now are more intense and frequent," she said. "This may mean viruses cause more problems for corals and their algae now than they did historically."

In continued research at OSU, scientists will inoculate Symbiodinium with the viruses and try to prove they are causing actual disease. If the viruses are killing the algae, scientists said, it could have significant implications for coral reef health and survival. There are almost two dozen known diseases that are affecting coral, and scientists still do not know the cause of most of them.

Coral abundance has declined about 80 percent in the Caribbean Sea in the past 30-40 years, and about one-third of all corals around the world are threatened with extinction.


'/>"/>

Contact: Adrienne Correa
adymscorrea@gmail.com
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Flu immunity is affected by how many viruses actually cause the infection
2. Gut microbes battle a common set of viruses shared by global populations
3. Brothers in arms: Commensal bacteria help fight viruses
4. IU role in Human Microbiome Project exposes battle history between bacteria, viruses in human body
5. To spread, nervous system viruses sabotage cell, hijack transportation
6. Berkeley Lab scientists generate electricity from viruses
7. BGI, GMU, Mass. Eye and Ear and OUHSC announce agreement to sequence 100 human adenoviruses
8. Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) linked to abnormal stem cells
9. Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women
10. Mild thyroid dysfunction in early pregnancy linked to serious complications
11. Research identifies specific bacteria linked to indoor water-damage and mold
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MILAN , March 24, 2017 The Controller ... Deputy Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international ... Continue Reading ... ... small picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Lithuania , March 21, 2017   ... and object recognition technologies, today announced the release ... kit (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition using ... cameras on a single computer. The new version ... to improve accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Biova, LLC., the ... has joined Biova’s Board of Directors. Dr. Henig will bring a wealth of scientific ... has served as the Chief Technical and Scientific Officer of four major global companies ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ken Hanson, a medical imaging research scientist ... have been selected as this year’s recipients of two top awards from SPIE, ... along with other honorees to accept their awards at a banquet in San Diego, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the ... (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, are launching a joint UAS ... success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much like the program currently available ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical Solutions, Inc. announces ... Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 years of pharmaceutical ... recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality Assessment. This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: