Characterising the microbiome of Corallina officinalis, a dominant calcified intertidal red alga

Juliet Brodie*, Christopher Williamson, Gary L. Barker, Rachel H. Walker, Andrew Briscoe, Marian Yallop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The living prokaryotic microbiome of the calcified geniculate (articulated) red alga, Corallina officinalis from the intertidal seashore is characterised for the first time based on the V6 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA. Results revealed an extraordinary diversity of bacteria associated with the microbiome. Thirty-five prokaryotic phyla were recovered, of which Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi made up the core microbiome. Unclassified sequences made up 25% of sequences, suggesting insufficient sampling of the world's oceans/macroalgae. The greatest diversity in the microbiome was on the upper shore, followed by the lower shore then the middle shore, although the microbiome community composition did not vary between shore levels. The C. officinalis core microbiome was broadly similar in composition to those reported in the literature for crustose coralline algae (CCAs) and free-living rhodoliths. Differences in relative abundance of the phyla between the different types of calcified macroalgal species may relate to the intertidal versus subtidal habit of the taxa and functionality of the microbiome components. The results indicate that much work is needed to identify prokaryotic taxa, and to determine the nature of the relationship of the bacteria with the calcified host spatially, temporally and functionally.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiw110
Number of pages12
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number8
Early online date23 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Actinobacteria
  • Bacteroidetes
  • Corallina officinalis
  • Cyanobacteria
  • prokaryotes
  • Proteobacteria

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