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Title: The Abundance and Diversity of Viruses in Soft Coral Tissue
Authors: فاتن بسام الحموي 
Supervisor: د. هدى محمود
Keywords: Viruses Coral Tissue
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher:  Kuwait university - college of graduate studies
Abstract: Coral virology is a newly emerging field of research where the majority, if not all, the studies published so far focused on hard corals due to their importance in the reef formation. No studies are available regarding the virology of the soft corals despite the latter ecological and economic importance. Therefore, the current study provided the first record for investigating viruses in soft coral tissues. Viral-like particles (VLP) associated with the tissue of Junceella juncea, Carijoa sp., Echinomuricea sp. b., Euplexaura and unknown soft coral, collected from inshore and offshore reef systems south of Kuwait on different seasons, were studied using different methods. The results of the epifluorescent microscope proved the presence of high number of VLP in the soft coral tissues as well as in the seawater and sediment samples from the vicinity of the soft coral colonies. Round and polyhedral shape VLP with sizes ranging between 20-180 nm were detected in the gastrodermis, coenenchyme, mesentry and tentacles of soft corals using Transmission Electron Microscope. 255 bacterial cultures were isolated from three soft coral tissues collected on October 2009. The cultures were identified molecularly and 23 different bacterial species were tested as potential hosts for bacteriophages using plaque assay. Among the identified bacterial species, Vibrio sp. SF09123-19 and Vibrio sp. SF0965-18 both showed positive results in the plaque assay. The tissue of the unknown soft coral, Junceella juncea, Echinomuricea sp. b. and their nearby seawater and sediment found harboring vibriophages specific for the two Vibrio species. The isolated vibriophages were morphologically similar to members of Cystoviridae, Plasmaviridae, Myoviridae, Inoviridae and Podoviridae families based on TEM analysis. Furthermore, the RT-PCR v provided evidence for the presence of enteric viruses in some soft coral tissue inhabiting both inshore and offshore reef systems in Kuwait.
Appears in Programs:2050 Molecular Biology

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