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Locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals as detected by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like pigments

Locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals as detected by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like pigments
Locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals as detected by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like pigments
Homologs of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) are a prevalent group of host pigments responsible for the green, red and purple-blue colours of many reef-building corals. They have been suggested to contribute to the striking coloration changes of different corals species in response to wounding and infestation with epibionts/parasites. In order to elucidate the physiological processes underlying the potentially disease-related colour changes, we have analysed spatial and temporal expression patterns of GFP-like proteins and other biomarkers in corals from the Red Sea, the Arabian/Persian Gulf and Fiji both in their natural habitat and under specific laboratory conditions. The expression of distinct GFP-like proteins and the growth marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen was upregulated in growing branch tips and margins of healthy coral colonies as well as in disturbed colony parts. Furthermore, phenoloxidase activity increased in these proliferating tissues. It is thus demonstrated that locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals and, moreover, these processes can be detected utilizing the excellent biomarker properties of GFP-like proteins. Finally, the results of this work suggest an additional vulnerability of corals in predicted future scenarios of increased ocean acidification, warming and eutrophication that are anticipated to reduce coral growth capacity.
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) Coral disease Immune response Climate change Coral parasite Coral bleaching
0722-4028
1045-1056
D'Angelo, C.
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Smith, E.G.
594ffefb-a5eb-4aca-b076-b6c6d113e58f
Oswald, F.
8fea64d4-21b7-4f41-93dd-0c4ce331c84b
Burt, J.
062dac5e-7cc2-4ee7-b2ee-018f799f2bc3
Tchernov, D.
02b7621f-69aa-4721-91a7-7040a3ddfede
Wiedenmann, J.
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7
D'Angelo, C.
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Smith, E.G.
594ffefb-a5eb-4aca-b076-b6c6d113e58f
Oswald, F.
8fea64d4-21b7-4f41-93dd-0c4ce331c84b
Burt, J.
062dac5e-7cc2-4ee7-b2ee-018f799f2bc3
Tchernov, D.
02b7621f-69aa-4721-91a7-7040a3ddfede
Wiedenmann, J.
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7

D'Angelo, C., Smith, E.G., Oswald, F., Burt, J., Tchernov, D. and Wiedenmann, J. (2012) Locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals as detected by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like pigments. Coral Reefs, 31 (4), 1045-1056. (doi:10.1007/s00338-012-0926-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Homologs of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) are a prevalent group of host pigments responsible for the green, red and purple-blue colours of many reef-building corals. They have been suggested to contribute to the striking coloration changes of different corals species in response to wounding and infestation with epibionts/parasites. In order to elucidate the physiological processes underlying the potentially disease-related colour changes, we have analysed spatial and temporal expression patterns of GFP-like proteins and other biomarkers in corals from the Red Sea, the Arabian/Persian Gulf and Fiji both in their natural habitat and under specific laboratory conditions. The expression of distinct GFP-like proteins and the growth marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen was upregulated in growing branch tips and margins of healthy coral colonies as well as in disturbed colony parts. Furthermore, phenoloxidase activity increased in these proliferating tissues. It is thus demonstrated that locally accelerated growth is part of the innate immune response and repair mechanisms in reef-building corals and, moreover, these processes can be detected utilizing the excellent biomarker properties of GFP-like proteins. Finally, the results of this work suggest an additional vulnerability of corals in predicted future scenarios of increased ocean acidification, warming and eutrophication that are anticipated to reduce coral growth capacity.

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More information

Published date: December 2012
Keywords: Green fluorescent protein (GFP) Coral disease Immune response Climate change Coral parasite Coral bleaching
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346714
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346714
ISSN: 0722-4028
PURE UUID: 51aa3291-3e1d-41ed-8d73-4b60c6189293
ORCID for J. Wiedenmann: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2128-2943

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jan 2013 17:10
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:05

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Contributors

Author: C. D'Angelo
Author: E.G. Smith
Author: F. Oswald
Author: J. Burt
Author: D. Tchernov
Author: J. Wiedenmann ORCID iD

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