Microbial pathogens


GFP labelled Vibrio coralliilyticus implicated in causing some Indo-Pacific white syndrome coral disease outbreaks Image: F. Joseph Pollock

The coral holobiont is a balanced community of coral, zooxanthellae, algae and bacteria plus the viruses harboured by all these multi- and single-celled life forms (see Microbial partnerships).

However, disturbing the balance so that certain microbes grow more abundant than usual will result in coral disease.

AIMS scientists are investigating coral diseases, with a particular interest in understanding the environmental drivers that cause disease outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef.

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