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Title: The microbiomes of two Singaporean corals show site-specific differentiation and variability that correlates with the seasonal monsoons
Authors: Deignan, Lindsey Kane
Pwa, Keay Hoon
Loh, Aaron An Rong
Rice, Scott A.
McDougald, Diane
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Deignan, L. K., Pwa, K. H., Loh, A. A. R., Rice, S. A. & McDougald, D. (2023). The microbiomes of two Singaporean corals show site-specific differentiation and variability that correlates with the seasonal monsoons. Coral Reefs, 42(3), 677-691.
Journal: Coral Reefs 
Abstract: Corals host abundant microbial communities, or microbiomes, that play essential roles in the function of the coral holobiont. We examined the mucus microbiome in corals within the port of Singapore, where corals persist despite intense anthropogenic impacts. The coral mucus microbiomes of Pectinia paeonia and Platygyra sinensis at three reef sites were tracked by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing from January 2019 to January 2020. Both coral species displayed spatial and temporal differences in microbiome composition, suggesting site specificity and seasonality in microbiome composition consistent with the monsoons. The temporal shifts in relative abundance of dominant taxa were different between the two coral species. Nonetheless, Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum in both coral species and was reduced during the southwest (SW) monsoon, while Cyanobacteria and Crenarchaeota increased. The presumptive beneficial endosymbiont Endozoicomonas was only associated with corals at the reef site located the farthest from the Singapore mainland. The coral microbiomes reflected seasonal changes, while the seawater displayed distinct temporal microbial compositions and site-specific differentiation within all sampling dates. The persistence of coral reefs within the port of Singapore highlights the adaptive ability of corals to respond to stressful environments, and this study provides further evidence that a flexible microbiome could be an important part of the strategy employed by corals to remain resilient.
ISSN: 0722-4028
DOI: 10.1007/s00338-023-02376-6
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering 
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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