Evaluation of coral pathogen growth rates after exposure to atmospheric African dust samples

Open-File Report 2014-1017
By: , and 



Laboratory experiments were conducted to assess if exposure to atmospheric African dust stimulates or inhibits the growth of four putative bacterial coral pathogens. Atmospheric dust was collected from a dust-source region (Mali, West Africa) and from Saharan Air Layer masses over downwind sites in the Caribbean [Trinidad and Tobago and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)]. Extracts of dust samples were used to dose laboratory-grown cultures of four putative coral pathogens: Aurantimonas coralicida (white plague type II), Serratia marcescens (white pox), Vibrio coralliilyticus, and V. shiloi (bacteria-induced bleaching). Growth of A. coralicida and V. shiloi was slightly stimulated by dust extracts from Mali and USVI, respectively, but unaffected by extracts from the other dust sources. Lag time to the start of log-growth phase was significantly shortened for A. coralicida when dosed with dust extracts from Mali and USVI. Growth of S. marcescens and V. coralliilyticus was neither stimulated nor inhibited by any of the dust extracts. This study demonstrates that constituents from atmospheric dust can alter growth of recognized coral disease pathogens under laboratory conditions.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Evaluation of coral pathogen growth rates after exposure to atmospheric African dust samples
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2014-1017
DOI 10.3133/ofr20141017
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description vi, 12 p.
Country Mali;Trinidad And Tobago;U.S. Virgin Islands
Other Geospatial Caribbean Sea
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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