The Effect of Co-Culture of Two Coral Species on Their Bacterial Composition Under Captive Environments

Keigo Ide, Yoshikatsu Nakano, Michihiro Ito, Yohei Nishikawa, Hiroyuki Fujimura, Haruko Takeyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Coral symbionts are important members of the coral holobiont, and coral bacterial flora are essential in host health maintenance and coral conservation. Coral symbionts are affected by various environmental factors, such as seawater temperature, pH, and salinity. Although physicochemical and chemical factors have been highlighted as possible causes of these effects, the effects of water flow and the co-culture of different species corals have not been elucidated. In this study, we designed an artificial rearing environment to examine the impact of environmental and biological factors on Acropora tenuis, one of the major coral species in Okinawa, and Montipora digitata, during their co-culture. We intervened with the water flow to reveal that the movement of the rearing environment alters the bacterial flora of A. tenuis. During the rearing under captive environment, the alpha diversity of the coral microbiota increased, suggesting the establishment of rare bacteria from the ocean. No differences in the bacterial composition between the control and water flow groups were observed under the rearing conditions. However, the structure of the bacterial flora was significantly different in the co-culture group. Comparison of bacterial community succession strongly suggested that the differences observed were due to the suppressed transmission of bacteria from the ocean in the co-culture group. These results enhance our understanding of interactions between corals and shed light on the importance of regional differences and bacterial composition of coral flora.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-881
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • 16S rDNA sequencing
  • Acropora tenuis
  • Coral co-culture
  • Coral microbiome
  • Montipora digitata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science


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