Vibrio zinc-metalloprotease causes photoinactivation of coral endosymbionts and coral tissue lesions
Sussman, M, Mieog, JC, Doyle, J, Victor, S, Willis, BL & Bourne, DG 2009, 'Vibrio zinc-metalloprotease causes photoinactivation of coral endosymbionts and coral tissue lesions', PLoS One, vol. 4, no. 2.
Background: Coral diseases are emerging as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide. Of nine coral infectious diseases, whose pathogens have been characterized, six are caused by agents from the family Vibrionacae, raising questions as to their origin and role in coral disease aetiology. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we report on a Vibrio zinc-metalloprotease causing rapid photoinactivation of susceptible Symbiodinium endosymbionts followed by lesions in coral tissue. Symbiodinium photosystem II inactivation was diagnosed by an imaging pulse amplitude modulation fluorometer in two bioassays, performed by exposing Symbiodinium cells and coral juveniles to non-inhibited and EDTA-inhibited supernatants derived from coral white syndrome pathogens. Conclusion/Significance: These findings demonstrate a common virulence factor from four phylogenetically related coral pathogens, suggesting that zinc-metalloproteases may play an important role in Vibrio pathogenicity in scleractinian corals.