Comparison of Fungal Communities Associated with Orbicella faveolata in Apparently Healthy and White Plague-Like Diseased States



Combs, Zachary E

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Fungi are a community associated with the coral holobiont, but their participation in and potential impact during a diseased state is inadequately reported. The differences in fungi present in healthy and white plague-like diseased samples of the reef-building Caribbean coral Orbicella (formerly Montastraea) faveolata were explored using preferential staining to identify the location of fungi within the community. Distinct fungal communities were linked to coral sampling locations, and in at least one specific location, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a correlation between coral health and the associated fungal communities was observed. A more complete understanding of the fungal communities associated with healthy and diseased specimens of O. faveolata should allow for better insight into white plague-like diseases of corals and will hopefully contribute to a more rational approach to reef management.



Coral, Mycology, White plague-like, Histology, Next gen sequencing, Orbicella faveolata