Visualization of coral host--pathogen interactions using a stable GFP-labeled Vibrio coralliilyticus strain
Author(s)Pollock, F. J; Krediet, Cory J; Winn, Karina; Wilson, Bryan; Huete-Stauffer, Carla; Willis, Bette L; Bourne, David G; Pollock, F. Joseph; Krediet, Cory J.; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.; Stocker, Roman; Garren, Melissa; ... Show more Show less
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The bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus has been implicated as the causative agent of coral tissue loss diseases (collectively known as white syndromes) at sites across the Indo-Pacific and represents an emerging model pathogen for understanding the mechanisms linking bacterial infection and coral disease. In this study, we used a mini-Tn7 transposon delivery system to chromosomally label a strain of V. coralliilyticus isolated from a white syndrome disease lesion with a green fluorescent protein gene (GFP). We then tested the utility of this modified strain as a research tool for studies of coral host–pathogen interactions. A suite of biochemical assays and experimental infection trials in a range of model organisms confirmed that insertion of the GFP gene did not interfere with the labeled strain’s virulence. Using epifluorescence video microscopy, the GFP-labeled strain could be reliably distinguished from non-labeled bacteria present in the coral holobiont, and the pathogen’s interactions with the coral host could be visualized in real time. This study demonstrates that chromosomal GFP labeling is a useful technique for visualization and tracking of coral pathogens and provides a novel tool to investigate the role of V. coralliilyticus in coral disease pathogenesis.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Pollock, F. Joseph, Cory J. Krediet, Melissa Garren, Roman Stocker, Karina Winn, Bryan Wilson, Carla Huete-Stauffer, Bette L. Willis, and David G. Bourne. “Visualization of Coral Host–pathogen Interactions Using a Stable GFP-Labeled Vibrio Coralliilyticus Strain.” Coral Reefs 34, no. 2 (February 26, 2015): 655–662.
Author's final manuscript