T. Bayer, C. Arif, C. Ferrier-Pagcs, D. Zoccola, M. Aranda, C.R. Voolstra
Marine Ecology Progress Series, (2013)
Forming dense beds that provide the structural basis of a distinct ecosystem, the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini
(Octocorallia) is an important species in the Mediterranean Sea.
Despite the importance and prevalence of this temperate gorgonian,
little is known about its microbial assemblage, although bacteria are
well known to be important to hard and soft coral functioning. Here, we
used massively parallel pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes to determine
the composition and relative abundances of bacteria associated with E. cavolini
collected from different depths at a site on the French Mediterranean
coast. We found that whereas the bacterial assemblages of E. cavolini
were distinct and less diverse than those of the surrounding water
column, the water depth did not affect the bacterial assemblages of this
gorgonian. Our data show that E. cavolini?s microbiome contains only a few shared species and that it is highly dominated by bacteria from the genus Endozoicomonas, a Gammaproteobacteria that is frequently found to associate with marine invertebrates.