Inter- and intra-habitat bacterial diversity associated with cold-water corals

Schöttner, Sandra; Hoffmann, Friederike; Wild, Christian; Rapp, Hans Tore; Boetius, Antje; Ramette, Alban Nicolas (2009). Inter- and intra-habitat bacterial diversity associated with cold-water corals. The ISME journal, 3(6), pp. 756-759. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/ismej.2009.15

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The discovery of large ecosystems of cold-water corals (CWC), stretching along continental margins in depths of hundreds to thousands of meters, has raised many questions regarding their ecology, biodiversity and relevance as deep-sea hard-ground habitat. This study represents the first investigation that explicitly targets bacterial diversity from distinct microbial habitats associated with the cosmopolitan reef-building coral Lophelia pertusa, and also compares natural (fjord) and controlled (aquarium) conditions. Coral skeleton surface, coral mucus, ambient seawater and reef sediments clearly showed habitat-specific differences in community structure and operational taxonomic unit (OTU) number. Especially in the natural environment, bacterial communities associated with coral-generated habitats were significantly more diverse than those present in the surrounding, non-coral habitats, or those in artificial coral living conditions (fjord vs aquarium). These findings strongly indicate characteristic coral-microbe associations and, furthermore, suggest that the variety of coral-generated habitats within reef systems promotes microbial diversity in the deep ocean.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Ramette, Alban Nicolas


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Alban Nicolas Ramette

Date Deposited:

20 Mar 2017 11:29

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:00

Publisher DOI:


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