Coral Probiotics: Premise, Promise, Prospects

by Raquel Peixoto, Michael Sweet, Helena Villela, Pedro Cardoso, Torsten Thomas, Christian Voolstra, Lone Hoj, David Bourne
Scientific paper Year: 2021 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-animal-090120-115444

Extra Information

Annual Review of Animal Biosciences Vol. 9:265-288


The use of Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs) has been proposed recently as a tool for the improvement of coral health, with knowledge in this research topic advancing rapidly. BMCs are defined as consortia of microorganisms that contribute to coral health through mechanisms that include (a) promoting coral nutrition and growth, (b) mitigating stress and impacts of toxic compounds, (c) deterring pathogens, and (d) benefiting early life-stage development. Here, we review the current proposed BMC approach and outline the studies that have proven its potential to increase coral resilience to stress. We revisit and expand the list of putative beneficial microorganisms associated with corals and their proposed mechanismsthat facilitate improved host performance. Further, we discuss the caveats and bottlenecks affecting the efficacy of BMCs and close by focusing on the next steps to facilitate application at larger scales that can improve outcomes for corals and reefs globally.


Coral reef Environmental adaptation Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals BMCs Coral holobiont Coral probiotics Microbiome