Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael Sweet,
Professor John Bythell
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Metagenomic and electron microscopy studies confirm that the coral microbiome contains a rich diversity and abundance of viruses. Although no viral pathogen of the coral host animal has been formally identified, the detection of a number of known invertebrate viruses including those related to Oyster herpesvirus (OsHV-1) suggests that viral pathogens of specific coral diseases likely exist. Growing evidence also indicates that latent viral infections can compromise the integrity of the algal symbionts under environmental stress and may be involved in the coral bleaching response. Bacteriophages and archaeal phage viruses are abundant and almost certainly play a role in controlling bacterial populations and may also be involved in complex ecological networks, genetic material transfer and selective coevolution within the surface mucus layers. Therefore these viruses are likely to be exerting some level of control on the composition and maintenance of the coral microbiome. While rapid leaps in metagenomic capabilities have been made, these approaches need now to be integrated with in vitro culture and challenge experiments to assess the functional roles of viruses in health and disease.
Author(s): Sweet MJ, Bythell JC
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Print publication date: 01/07/2017
Online publication date: 18/12/2016
Acceptance date: 13/12/2016
Date deposited: 18/09/2017
ISSN (print): 0022-2011
ISSN (electronic): 1096-0805
Publisher: Academic Press
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