Exploring the molecular mechanisms of interaction between (and within) a probiotic consortium and the coral host

by Phillipe M. Rosado, Pedro M. Cardoso, Júnia Schultz, T. K. Costa, U. Rocha, Joao G. Rosado, Raquel Peixoto
Scientific paper Year: 2023 DOI: 10.1128/msystems.00921-22

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Beneficial microorganisms for corals (BMCs) have been demonstrated to be effective probiotics to alleviate bleaching and mitigate coral mortality in vivo. The selection of putative BMCs is traditionally performed manually, using an array of biochemical and molecular tests for putative BMC traits. We present a comprehensive genetic survey of BMC traits using a genome-based framework for the identification of alternative mechanisms that can be used for future in silico selection of BMC strains. We identify exclusive BMC traits associated with specific strains and propose new BMC mechanisms, such as the synthesis of glycine betaine and ectoines. Our roadmap facilitates the selection of BMC strains while increasing the array of genetic targets that can be included in the selection of putative BMC strains to be tested as coral probiotics.