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Integrating microbiological, microsensor, molecular, and physiologic techniques in the study of coral disease pathogenesis
Richardson, L.; Smith, G.W.; Ritchie, K.B.; Carlton, R.G. (2001). Integrating microbiological, microsensor, molecular, and physiologic techniques in the study of coral disease pathogenesis, in: Porter, J.W. (Ed.) (2001). The ecology and ethiology of newly emerging marine diseases. Developments in Hydrobiology, 159: pp. 71-89. dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1013187723831
In: Porter, J.W. (Ed.) (2001). The ecology and ethiology of newly emerging marine diseases. Reprinted from Hydrobiologia 460 (2001). Developments in Hydrobiology, 159. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht. ISBN 1-4020-0240-8. xvi, 228 pp., more
In: Dumont, H.J. (Ed.) Developments in Hydrobiology. Kluwer Academic/Springer: Den Haag. ISSN 0167-8418, more

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Keywords
    Coral reefs; Diseases; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Richardson, L.
  • Smith, G.W.
  • Ritchie, K.B.
  • Carlton, R.G.

Abstract
    The study of coral diseases requires an integrated approach that includes a combination of field and laboratory methods. By combining and building upon information available from multiple disciplines, within both field and laboratory applications, we have been successful in characterizing a number of coral diseases. To illustrate the utility of the integrative approach two very different coral diseases, black band disease and plague, are discussed in detail. Comparison of our ongoing characterization of each disease demonstrates that, within the integrative approach, different combinations of microbiological, microsensor, molecular, and physiologic techniques are required. The pathobiology of black band disease, which consists of a complicated, synergistic microbial consortium functioning around a dynamic sulfur cycle, is slowly being unraveled using a combination of methods. Our study of plague, on the other hand, has progressed in a very different manner that is controlled by the fact that this disease has, to date, emerged in three forms on reefs of the Florida Keys. The study of plague types I, II, and III will be detailed to illustrate the difficulty of characterizing a disease that rapidly evolves in the natural environment of the reef. Our ongoing study of additional (also very different) coral diseases will be summarized from the perspective of combined methodologies to illustrate the range and magnitude of questions that must be addressed and answered in order to understand coral disease pathogenesis and thus coral disease etiology.

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