The role of microorganisms in coral bleaching

Eugene Rosenberg*, Ariel Kushmaro, Esti Kramarsky-Winter, Ehud Banin, Loya Yossi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Coral bleaching is the disruption of the symbiosis between the coral host and its endosymbiotic algae. The prevalence and severity of the disease have been correlated with high seawater temperature. During the last decade, the major hypothesis to explain coral bleaching is that high water temperatures cause irreversible damage to the symbiotic algae resulting in loss of pigment and/or algae from the holobiont. Here, we discuss the evidence for an alternative but not mutually exclusive concept, the microbial hypothesis of coral bleaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalISME Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


FundersFunder number
Iowa Science Foundation1169/07, 511/02-1


    • Coral bleaching
    • Coral disease
    • Holobiont
    • Vibrio


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