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Wegley, L, Yu YN, Breitbart M, Casas V, Kline DI, Rohwer F.  2004.  Coral-associated archaea. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 273:89-96.   10.3354/meps273089   AbstractWebsite

The coral holobiont includes the coral, zooxanthellae, fungi, endolithic algae, and >30 species of Bacteria. Using culture-independent techniques, we now show that Archaea are also abundant and widespread on corals. Sequence analyses of Archaea on 3 species of Caribbean corals revealed that coral-associated Archaea are novel, diverse, and include representatives from both the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Unlike zooxanthellae and Bacteria, the Archaea do not appear to form species-specific associations with reef-building corals. Fluorescent in situ hybridizations with peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes showed that Archaea were present at >10(7) cells cm(-2) on Porites astreoides, comprising nearly half of the prokaryotic community. This study and one by Kellogg (Mar Ecol Prog Ser 273:81-88) show that Archaea are abundant, diverse, and potentially important components of the coral holobiont.