Bleaching of corals and other organisms with symbiotic zooxanthellae is a worldwide phenomenon with increasing importance due to global warming scenarios. Bleaching has been historically related to changes in the environment, especially water temperature increase, that stress corals and provoke the release of zooxanthellae. The discovery of Vibrio shilonii, a bacterium causing bleaching under thermal stress in corals of the Mediterranean Sea has changed our thinking about the cause (or explanation) for bleaching of corals worldwide. During this study, we evaluated the effect of a proline rich toxin, extracted from Vibrio shilonii, on zooxanthellae obtained from: Oculina patagonica from the Mediterranean Sea, two species from the Gulf of Elait (Red Sea), four species from the Caribbean Sea, and five Symbiodinium species extracted from different hosts (corals, jellyfish, zoanthid, and anemones) from different parts of the world. Our results show a differential response of zooxanthellae to the toxin, which implies, that a number of coral species may be affected by this bacterium to different degrees.
Gil-Agudelo, Diego L.; Ban-Haim, Yael; Rosenberg, Eugene; and Smith, Garriet W.
"Differential Response of Coral Symbiotic Dinoflagellates to Bacterial Toxins that Produce Bleaching in Stony Corals,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 15
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol15/iss1/6