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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 153:1-8 (2023)  -  DOI:

First report of yellow-banded tissue loss disease on coral reefs outside the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Murugan Selva Bharath1,*, Rethnaraj Chandran2, Greta Smith Aeby3, Ramasamy Senthilkumaran2, Kamaraj Ramkumaran1, Velukaval Perumal Pillai Thanappan1, Nandini Ray Chaudhury4, Chowdula Satyanarayana1

1Zoological Survey of India - Jamnagar Field Station, Forest Colony, Jamnagar-Gujarat 361001, India
2Marine National Park & Sanctuary, Forest Colony, Jamangar-Gujarat 361001, India
3Qatar University, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Doha, Qatar
4Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organization, Ahmedabad 380015, India
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Coral disease is a major cause of coral reef degradation, yet many diseases remain understudied. Yellow-banded tissue loss disease (YBTLD) has a distinct gross lesion morphology and to date has only been reported from the Arabian/Persian Gulf; little else is known about the ecology of the disease. We report on the first occurrence of YBTLD outside of the Arabian/Persian Gulf at 2 sites (Laku Point, Narara Reef) within the Gulf of Kachchh (GoK) located on the northwest coast of India. At Narara Reef, YBTLD was observed at 12 out of 24 transects with an average prevalence of 4.7 ± 1.3%. At Laku Point, YBTLD was observed at 19 out of 24 transects with an average prevalence of 5.4 ± 1%. Four out of 15 coral genera within transects had signs of YBTLD and included Goniopora, Dipsastraea, Lobophyllia, and Turbinaria. Lobophyllia and Turbinaria had the highest susceptibility to the disease, with prevalence significantly higher than expected based on their abundance on the reefs. The distribution and prevalence of YBTLD in the GoK was higher than in coral reefs in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. The GoK is an extreme environment for coral reefs with both natural stressors (high salinities, strong, seasonal storm activities, and extreme tides) and anthropogenic pollutants from industrial, mining, agricultural, and domestic activities. These poor environmental conditions may help explain the high occurrence of YBTLD on GoK reefs.

KEY WORDS: Gulf of Kachchh · India · Yellow-banded tissue loss disease · Turbinaria · Lobophyllia · Environmental stress

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Cite this article as: Bharath MS, Chandran R, Aeby GS, Senthilkumaran R and others (2023) First report of yellow-banded tissue loss disease on coral reefs outside the Arabian/Persian Gulf. Dis Aquat Org 153:1-8.

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