Relative abundance of nitrogen cycling microbes in coral holobionts reflects environmental nitrate availability

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2021
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Tilstra, Arjen
Roth, Florian
El-Khaled, Yusuf C.
Wild, Christian
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Royal Society Open Science. Royal Society of London. 2021, 8(6), 201835. eISSN 2054-5703. Available under: doi: 10.1098/rsos.201835
Zusammenfassung

Recent research suggests that nitrogen (N) cycling microbes are important for coral holobiont functioning. In particular, coral holobionts may acquire bioavailable N via prokaryotic dinitrogen (N2) fixation or remove excess N via denitrification activity. However, our understanding of environmental drivers on these processes in hospite remains limited. Employing the strong seasonality of the central Red Sea, this study assessed the effects of environmental parameters on the proportional abundances of N cycling microbes associated with the hard corals Acropora hemprichii and Stylophora pistillata. Specifically, we quantified changes in the relative ratio between nirS and nifH gene copy numbers, as a proxy for seasonal shifts in denitrification and N2 fixation potential in corals, respectively. In addition, we assessed coral tissue-associated Symbiodiniaceae cell densities and monitored environmental parameters to provide a holobiont and environmental context, respectively. While ratios of nirS to nifH gene copy numbers varied between seasons, they revealed similar seasonal patterns in both coral species, with ratios closely following patterns in environmental nitrate availability. Symbiodiniaceae cell densities aligned with environmental nitrate availability, suggesting that the seasonal shifts in nirS to nifH gene abundance ratios were probably driven by nitrate availability in the coral holobiont. Thereby, our results suggest that N cycling in coral holobionts probably adjusts to environmental conditions by increasing and/or decreasing denitrification and N2 fixation potential according to environmental nitrate availability. Microbial N cycling may, thus, extenuate the effects of changes in environmental nitrate availability on coral holobionts to support the maintenance of the coral–Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Schlagwörter
coral reefs, Scleractinia, seasonality, denitrification, dinitrogen fixation, diazotrophy
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ISO 690TILSTRA, Arjen, Florian ROTH, Yusuf C. EL-KHALED, Claudia POGOREUTZ, Nils RÄDECKER, Christian R. VOOLSTRA, Christian WILD, 2021. Relative abundance of nitrogen cycling microbes in coral holobionts reflects environmental nitrate availability. In: Royal Society Open Science. Royal Society of London. 2021, 8(6), 201835. eISSN 2054-5703. Available under: doi: 10.1098/rsos.201835
BibTex
@article{Tilstra2021Relat-53925,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1098/rsos.201835},
  title={Relative abundance of nitrogen cycling microbes in coral holobionts reflects environmental nitrate availability},
  number={6},
  volume={8},
  journal={Royal Society Open Science},
  author={Tilstra, Arjen and Roth, Florian and El-Khaled, Yusuf C. and Pogoreutz, Claudia and Rädecker, Nils and Voolstra, Christian R. and Wild, Christian},
  note={Article Number: 201835}
}
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