DAO 116:133-141 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02910

Proteomic profiling of healthy and diseased hybrid soft corals Sinularia maxima × S. polydactyla

Deborah J. Gochfeld1,2, Sridevi Ankisetty2, Marc Slattery1,2,*

1National Center for Natural Products Research, and 2Department of BioMolecular Sciences, University of Mississippi, PO Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Emerging diseases of marine invertebrates have been implicated as one of the major causes of the continuing decline in coral reefs worldwide. To date, most of the focus on marine diseases has been aimed at hard (scleractinian) corals, which are the main reef builders worldwide. However, soft (alcyonacean) corals are also essential components of tropical reefs, representing food, habitat and the ‘glue’ that consolidates reefs, and they are subject to the same stressors as hard corals. Sinularia maxima and S. polydactyla are the dominant soft corals on the shallow reefs of Guam, where they hybridize. In addition to both parent species, the hybrid soft coral population in Guam is particularly affected by Sinularia tissue loss disease. Using label-free shotgun proteomics, we identified differences in protein expression between healthy and diseased colonies of the hybrid S. maxima × S. polydactyla. This study provided qualitative and quantitative data on specific proteins that were differentially expressed under the stress of disease. In particular, metabolic proteins were down-regulated, whereas proteins related to stress and to symbiont photosynthesis were up-regulated in the diseased soft corals. These results indicate that soft corals are responding to pathogenesis at the level of the proteome, and that this label-free approach can be used to identify and quantify protein biomarkers of sub-lethal stress in studies of marine disease.


KEY WORDS: Soft coral · Coral disease · Shotgun proteomics · Hybrid · Sinularia maxima · S. polydactyla


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Cite this article as: Gochfeld DJ, Ankisetty S, Slattery M (2015) Proteomic profiling of healthy and diseased hybrid soft corals Sinularia maxima × S. polydactyla. Dis Aquat Org 116:133-141. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02910

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