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Aquarickettsia rohwerii is a marker of disease susceptability

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This paper was just published on a a parasite found in coral microbiomes,    Candidatus Aquarickettsia rohweri  .   As an intracellular parasite it scavenges phosphorus and amino acids and inorganic nitrogen from it's host.


Working with Acropora cervicornis, the researchers identified disease resistant genotypes and disease susceptable genotypes by the mean relative abundance of the parasite in the microbiomes with higher numbers correlateing to disease susceptable. 


From the "Introduction":   "Our data support the hypothesis that "Ca. Aquarickettsia" species increase coral disease risk through two mechanisms: 1) the creation of host nutritional deficiencies leading to a compromised host-symbiont state, and 2) the opening of niche space for potential pathogens during thermal stress."


From the "Discussion":   "Based on its genomic composition and cosmopolitan distribution, we previously showed that "Ca. A. rohweri" is a ubiquitous parasite of diverse coral hosts that can translocate both amino acids and ATP from the holobiont (Klinges et al., 2019; Figure 5A). We also found that members of this genus proliferate during nutrient enrichment and their abundance is strongly correlated with reduced coral growth (Shaver et al., 2017) and increased tissue loss and mortality"


From a paper on the same parasite published last year by two of the authors.

Aquarickettsoni JG Klingas 2019 Fig 8.png


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