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Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus
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    PeerJ 4:e2529
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Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus
  • Description:
    Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, this is the first study to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. Samples from five colonies of P. placomus were collected from Baltimore Canyon (379–382 m depth) in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States of America. DNA was extracted from the coral samples and 16S rRNA gene amplicons were pyrosequenced using V4-V5 primers. Three samples sequenced deeply (>4,000 sequences each) and were further analyzed. The dominant microbial phylum was Proteobacteria, but other major phyla included Firmicutes and Planctomycetes. A conserved community of bacterial taxa held in common across the three P. placomus colonies was identified, comprising 68–90% of the total bacterial community depending on the coral individual. The bacterial community of P. placomus does not appear to include the genus Endozoicomonas, which has been found previously to be the dominant bacterial associate in several temperate and tropical gorgonians. Inferred functionality suggests the possibility of nitrogen cycling by the core bacterial community.
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