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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 746720, 7 pages
Research Article

Widespread Oceanospirillaceae Bacteria in Porites spp.

Department of Microbiology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Snyder Hall 207, 2538 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Received 6 September 2011; Revised 2 December 2011; Accepted 5 December 2011

Academic Editor: Pei-Yuan Qian

Copyright © 2012 Mark D. Speck and Stuart P. Donachie. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present evidence that a clade of bacteria in the Oceanospirillaceae is widely distributed in Porites spp. and other hermatypic corals. Bacteria 16S rDNA clone libraries were prepared from community genomic DNA extracted from Porites compressa and Porites lobata surface mucus and adjacent seawater collected along a line transect off Maui. Phylogenetic affiliations of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) defined at the 97% level of nucleotide identity varied within and between the respective Porites spp. along the transect and differed from those in the seawater. One OTU (C7-A01), however, occurred in all mucus samples from both Porites species. C7-A01c affiliates with a clade of uncultivated Oceanospirillum-like bacteria; the nearest neighbors of this OTU have been reported only in the surface mucus layer of Porites spp. and other stony corals, in reef-dwelling invertebrates, and the corallivorous six-banded angelfish, Pomacanthus sexstriatus.