Meyer, Julie L., Gunasekera, Sarath P., Scott, Raymond M., Paul, Valerie J., and Teplitski, Max. 2016. "Microbiome shifts and the inhibition of quorum sensing by Black Band Disease cyanobacteria." The ISME journal 10:1204-1216. https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2015.184
Disruption of the microbiome often correlates with the appearance of disease symptoms in metaorganisms such as corals. In Black Band Disease (BBD), a polymicrobial disease consortium dominated by the filamentous cyanobacterium Roseofilum reptotaenium displaces members of the epibiotic microbiome. We examined both normal surface microbiomes and BBD consortia on Caribbean corals and found that the microbiomes of healthy corals were dominated by Gammaproteobacteria, in particular Halomonas spp., and were remarkably stable across spatial and temporal scales. In contrast, the microbial community structure in black band consortia was more variable and more diverse. Nevertheless, deep sequencing revealed that members of the disease consortium were present in every sampled surface microbiome of Montastraea, Orbicella and Pseudodiploria corals, regardless of the health status. Within the BBD consortium, we identified lyngbic acid, a cyanobacterial secondary metabolite. It strongly inhibited quorum sensing (QS) in the Vibrio harveyi QS reporters. The effects of lyngbic acid on the QS reporters depended on the presence of the CAI-1 receptor CqsS. Lyngbic acid inhibited luminescence in native coral Vibrio spp. that also possess the CAI-1-mediated QS. The effects of this naturally occurring QS inhibitor on bacterial regulatory networks potentially contribute to the structuring of the interactions within BBD consortia.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 23 October 2015; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.184.