Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

Nils Rädecker, Claudia Pogoreutz, Christian R. Voolstra, Jörg Wiedenmann, Christian Wild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations

Abstract

Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-497
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 11 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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