Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium

Karen D. Weynberg, Matthew J. Neave, Peta L. Clode, Christian R. Voolstra, Christopher Brownlee, Patrick Laffy, Nicole S. Webster, Rachel A. Levin, Elisha M. Wood-Charlson, Madeleine J. H. Oppen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reef corals are under threat from bleaching and disease outbreaks that target both the host animal and the algal symbionts within the coral holobiont. A viral origin for coral bleaching has been hypothesized, but direct evidence has remained elusive. Using a multifaceted approach incorporating flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, DNA and RNA virome sequencing, we show that type C1 Symbiodinium cultures host a nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus (NCLDV) related to Phycodnaviridae and Mimiviridae, a novel filamentous virus of unknown phylogenetic affiliation, and a single-stranded RNA virus related to retroviruses. We discuss implications of these findings for laboratory-based experiments using Symbiodinium cultures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-784
Number of pages12
JournalCoral Reefs
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 17 2017

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