Rhodoliths holobionts in a changing ocean: host-microbes interactions mediate coralline algae resilience under ocean acidification

Life in the ocean will increasingly have to contend with a complex matrix of concurrent shifts in environmental properties that impact their physiology and control their life histories. Rhodoliths are coralline red algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) that are photosynthesizers, calcifiers, and ecosystem engineers and therefore represent important targets for ocean acidification (OA) research. Here, we exposed live rhodoliths to near-future OA conditions to investigate responses in their photosynthetic capacity, calcium carbonate production, and associated microbiome using carbon uptake, decalcification assays, and whole genome shotgun sequencing metagenomic analysis, respectively. The results from our live rhodolith assays were compared to similar manipulations on dead rhodolith (calcareous skeleton) biofilms and water column microbial communities, thereby enabling the assessment of host-microbiome interaction under climate-driven environmental perturbations.

Cavalcanti G. S., Shukla P., Morris M., Ribeiro B., Foley M., Doane M. P., Thompson C. C., Edwards M. S., Dinsdale E. A. & Thompson F. L., 2018. Rhodoliths holobionts in a changing ocean: host-microbes interactions mediate coralline algae resilience under ocean acidification. BMC Genomics 19: 701. doi: 10.1186/s12864-018-5064-4. Article.

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