The prokaryotic microbiome of Acropora digitifera is stable under short-term artificial light pollution

Jake Ivan P. Baquiran, Michael Angelou L. Nada, Celine Luisa D. Campos, Sherry Lyn G. Sayco, Patrick C. Cabaitan, Yaeli Rosenberg, Inbal Ayalon, Oren Levy, Cecilia Conaco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Corals harbor a great diversity of symbiotic microorganisms that play pivotal roles in host nutrition, reproduction, and development. Changes in the ocean environment, such as increasing exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN), may alter these relationships and result in a decline in coral health. In this study, we examined the microbiome associated with gravid specimens of the reef-building coral Acropora digitifera. We also assessed the temporal effects of ALAN on the coral-associated microbial community using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V4 hypervariable region. The A. digitifera microbial community was dominated by phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Exposure to ALAN had no large-scale effect on the coral microbiome, although taxa affiliated with Rhodobacteraceae, Caulobacteraceae, Burkholderiaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae were significantly enriched in corals subjected to ALAN. We further noted an increase in the relative abundance of the family Endozoicomonadaceae (Endozoicomonas) as the spawning period approached, regardless of light treatment. These findings highlight the stability of the A. digitifera microbial community under short-term artificial light pollution and provide initial insights into the response of the collective holobiont to ALAN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1566
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number10
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (QMSR-MRRD-MEC-295-1449) to P.C.C. and C.C.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 16S rRNA gene
  • Acroporid
  • Coral-associated microbes
  • Ecological light pollution
  • Endozoicomonadaceae
  • Holobiont


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