Thermal and menthol stress induce different cellular events during sea anemone bleaching

Abstract : Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis disruption and subsequent bleaching are major concerns, especially regarding their ecological consequences on coral reefs and temperate coralligenous communities. Cnidarian bleaching is caused by a variety of environmental stressors, such as elevated seawater temperature associated with global climate change, and by pollutants, such as herbicides and metals. Several cellular events have been described to explain symbiosis dysfunction and bleaching. Excess or damaged Symbiodinium symbionts are removed through a variety of mechanisms, including exocytosis, apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy. However, few studies have compared in the same species the relative involvement of these mechanisms, according to the stress inducing the bleaching. In this study, we used two different treatments —temperature and menthol— to induce bleaching in the sea anemone Anemonia viridis. By monitoring the ultrastructural tissue modifications, in control specimens we observed a basal rate of in situ symbiont digestion —or symbiophagy— induced by starvation. Symbiophagy was strongly induced in menthol-treated specimens and was the main cellular process of bleaching, whereas apoptosis and necrosis predominated in hyperthermal-induced bleaching. These results suggested a host effect through autophagy in menthol-treated specimens. These observations also suggested that symbiont removal may result from reengagement of the phagosomal maturation process in the host. These overall data demonstrate that several Symbiodinium cell removal mechanisms coexist and that stressors can activate one or more of these pathways, depending on the stress type, intensity or duration.
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Vincent Dani, Fabrice Priouzeau, Sophie Pagnotta, Diane Carette, Jean-Pierre Laugier, et al.. Thermal and menthol stress induce different cellular events during sea anemone bleaching. Symbiosis, Springer Verlag, 2016, 69 (3), pp.175 - 192. ⟨10.1007/s13199-016-0406-y⟩. ⟨hal-01546908⟩



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