MWAC Recognition for research of significance: May 2017

Posted 5 June 2017

Facilities: Electron Microscope Unit, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility, Solid State & Elemental Analysis Unit, Biomedical Imaging Facility, Biological Resources Imaging Laboratory, Spectroscopy Laboratory, Transgenic Animal Unit, Stats Central

The Outreach group POM committee is pleased to announce the ‘Paper of the Month’ for May 2017 is a study contributed to by Chris Brownlee from BRIL Flow Cytometry, in conjunction with:

Karen D. Weynberg, Matthew Neave, PetaL.Clode, Christian R. Voolstra, Patrick Laffy, Nicole S. Webster, Rachel A. Levin, Elisha M. Wood-Charlson, Madeleine J. H. van Oppen.

Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium.

Published in: Coral Reefs. 2017, p8-12

(impact factor 3.3)

This work is significant because it provides direct evidence that particles of viral origin are involved in coral bleaching.

Reef corals are under threat from bleaching and disease outbreaks that target both the host animal and the algal symbionts within the coral holobiont. A viral origin for coral bleaching has been hypothesized, but direct evidence has remained elusive. Using a multifaceted approach incorporating flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, DNA and RNA virome sequencing, we show that type C1 Symbiodinium cultures host a nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus (NCLDV) related to Phycodnaviridae and Mimiviridae, a novel filamentous virus of unknown phylogenetic affiliation, and a single-stranded RNA virus related to retroviruses. We discuss implications of these findings for laboratory-based experiments using Symbiodinium cultures.

To read more, follow this link:


Flow cytogram showing the presence of virus-like particles after exposure to elevated temperature stress (36 ºC for 96 h) Symbiodinium culture strain SCF055-A2 type C1.