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Title: Host age is not a consistent predictor of microbial diversity in the coral Porites lutea
Authors: Wainwright, B.J.
Zahn, G.L.
Afiq-Rosli, L. 
Tanzil, J.T.I. 
Huang, D. 
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nature Research
Citation: Wainwright, B.J., Zahn, G.L., Afiq-Rosli, L., Tanzil, J.T.I., Huang, D. (2020). Host age is not a consistent predictor of microbial diversity in the coral Porites lutea. Scientific Reports 10 (1) : 14376. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Corals harbour diverse microbial communities that can change in composition as the host grows in age and size. Larger and older colonies have been shown to host a higher diversity of microbial taxa and this has been suggested to be a consequence of their more numerous, complex and varied micro-niches available. However, the effects of host age on community structure and diversity of microbial associates remain equivocal in the few studies performed to date. To test this relationship more robustly, we use established techniques to accurately determine coral host age by quantifying annual skeletal banding patterns, and utilise high-throughput sequencing to comprehensively characterise the microbiome of the common reef-building coral, Porites lutea. Our results indicate no clear link between coral age and microbial diversity or richness. Different sites display distinct age-dependent diversity patterns, with more anthropogenically impacted reefs appearing to show a winnowing of microbial diversity with host age, possibly a consequence of corals adapting to degraded environments. Less impacted sites do not show a signature of winnowing, and we observe increases in microbial richness and diversity as the host ages. Furthermore, we demonstrate that corals of a similar age from the same reef can show very different microbial richness and diversity. © 2020, The Author(s).
Source Title: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 20452322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71117-4
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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