Coral Microbial Community Composition and Enrichment Analysis

  • Jadran Sessa

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Coral reefs represent one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on our planet. Coral reefs consist of colonies of very small sea animals belonging to the phylum named Cnidaria, and of more complex, yet not so well known microbial communities. Moreover, despite the fact that they occupy only a tiny portion of the oceans' surface, coral reefs are swarming with life, providing the food and shelter for a wide number of marine species, ranging from mollusks to numerous fish species. However, there is a number of factors that can affect their sustainability and likelihood of developing diseases, including increased seawater temperature, acidity, salinity, and human impact, just to name the few. One of the most important factors to analyze is the relationship between corals and microbial communities linked to them. In this work, overall microbial community composition of the different coral species found in the Australian waters was analyzed, and the most abundant OTUs were identified on different taxonomic levels. In addition to that, heat specific coral core microbiome found across at least 20% of the investigated coral host species was identified and thoroughly analyzed. Lastly, metagenome functional prediction was carried out and the most abundant heat tolerance related genes were highlighted.
Date of AwardMay 2017
Original languageAmerican English


  • Coral Reefs
  • Enrichment Analysis
  • Microbial Community Composition
  • Cnidaria.

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