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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Vol.75, No. 24
, 2009
; Pages: 7797–7806

Influence of Species Specificity and Other Factors on Bacteria Associated with the Coral Stylophora pistillata in Taiwan

Mei-Jhu Hong, Yi-Ting Yu, Chaolun A. Chen, Pei-Wen Chiang, and Sen-Lin Tang*

Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan.


Species of bacteria associated with Stylophora pistillata were determined by analyses of 16S ribosomal genes. Coral samples were taken from two distinct sites at Kenting, in the far south of Taiwan; three coral colonies at each site were tagged and sampled in the winter and summer of 2007. Six hundred 16S rRNA gene clones were selected and sequenced for diversity analysis and community comparison. LIBSHUFF and nonparametric multiple dimensional scaling analyses showed variations in the composition of the coral-associated bacteria in the different samples, suggesting that seasonal and geographic factors and variations in individual coral colonies were all vital drivers of the structure of the S. pistillata-associated bacterial community. To examine the association between species specificity and environmental impacts on the structure of the coral-associated bacterial community, we conducted an integrated, comparative analysis of 44 coral-associated bacterial data sets, including the present study’s data. The clustering analysis suggests that the influence of spatial and temporal factors on the coral-associated bacteria population structure is considerable; nonetheless, the effect of species specificity is still detectable in some coral species, especially those from the Caribbean Sea.

Keywords:Stylophora pistillata;16S ribosomal genes;Alphaproteobacteria;Cyanobacteria;Gammaproteobacteria;Bacilli.

Corresponding author: Tel 886-22-7893863, Fax 886-2-27890844.

E-mail: sltang@gate.sinica.edu.tw


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