Association of coral algal symbionts with a diverse viral community responsive to heat shock

Jan D. Brüwer, Shobhit Agrawal, Yi Jin Liew, Manuel Aranda, Christian R. Voolstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stony corals provide the structural foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are termed holobionts given they engage in symbioses, in particular with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Besides Symbiodinium, corals also engage with bacteria affecting metabolism, immunity, and resilience of the coral holobiont, but the role of associated viruses is largely unknown. In this regard, the increase of studies using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to assess gene expression provides an opportunity to elucidate viral signatures encompassed within the data via careful delineation of sequence reads and their source of origin.Here, we re-analyzed an RNA-Seq dataset from a cultured coral symbiont (Symbiodinium microadriaticum, Clade A1) across four experimental treatments (control, cold shock, heat shock, dark shock) to characterize associated viral diversity, abundance, and gene expression. Our approach comprised the filtering and removal of host sequence reads, subsequent phylogenetic assignment of sequence reads of putative viral origin, and the assembly and analysis of differentially expressed viral genes. About 15.46% (123 million) of all sequence reads were non-host-related, of which
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBMC Microbiology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 17 2017

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