Huntley Naomi

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Article
    Benthic exometabolites and their ecological significance on threatened Caribbean coral reefs
    (Springer, 2022-10-17) Weber, Laura ; Soule, Melissa Kido ; Longnecker, Krista ; Becker, Cynthia C. ; Huntley, Naomi ; Kujawinski, Elizabeth B. ; Apprill, Amy
    Benthic organisms are the architectural framework supporting coral reef ecosystems, but their community composition has recently shifted on many reefs. Little is known about the metabolites released from these benthic organisms and how compositional shifts may influence other reef life, including prolific microorganisms. To investigate the metabolite composition of benthic exudates and their ecological significance for reef microbial communities, we harvested exudates from six species of Caribbean benthic organisms including stony corals, octocorals, and an invasive encrusting alga, and subjected these exudates to untargeted and targeted metabolomics approaches using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Incubations with reef seawater microorganisms were conducted to monitor changes in microbial abundances and community composition using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing in relation to exudate source and three specific metabolites. Exudates were enriched in amino acids, nucleosides, vitamins, and indole-based metabolites, showing that benthic organisms contribute labile organic matter to reefs. Furthermore, exudate compositions were species-specific, and riboflavin and pantothenic acid emerged as significant coral-produced metabolites, while caffeine emerged as a significant invasive algal-produced metabolite. Microbial abundances and individual microbial taxa responded differently to exudates from stony corals and octocorals, demonstrating that exudate mixtures released from different coral species select for specific bacteria. In contrast, microbial communities did not respond to individual additions of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, or caffeine. This work indicates that recent shifts in benthic organisms alter exudate composition and likely impact microbial communities on coral reefs.
  • Dataset
    Ecological results of SCTLD multi-species transmission experiment at the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2022-07-20) Brandt, Marilyn ; Correa, Adrienne M.S. ; Meiling, Sonora ; Veglia, Alex J. ; Lasseigne, Danielle ; MacKnight, Nicholas ; Dimos, Bradford ; Huntley, Naomi ; Muller, Erinn ; Mydlarz, Laura ; Apprill, Amy ; Smith, Tyler ; Holstein, Daniel
    This dataset represents the ecological results of a stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) multi-species transmission experiment. Eight colonies of six species of corals (Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea cavernosa, Orbicella annularis, Porites astreoides, Pseudodiploria strigosa, and Siderastrea siderea) were split in half and one half of these fragments were simultaneously exposed toSCTLD-affected colonies of Diploria labyrinthiformis and the other half were exposed to healthy colonies of D. labyrinthiformis. All corals were monitored for lesion appearance over an eight day experimental period. No lesions were recorded on healthy-exposed corals. Numbers of fragments showing lesion appearance, time to lesion appearance, and expansion rates of lesions for SCTLD-exposed corals are reported here. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Variable species responses to experimental stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) exposure
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-04-30) Meiling, Sonora S. ; Muller, Erinn ; Lasseigne, Danielle ; Rossin, Ashley ; Veglia, Alex J. ; MacKnight, Nicholas ; Dimos, Bradford ; Huntley, Naomi ; Correa, Adrienne M. S. ; Smith, Tyler B. ; Holstein, Daniel M. ; Mydlarz, Laura ; Apprill, Amy ; Brandt, Marilyn
    Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) was initially documented in Florida in 2014 and outbreaks with similar characteristics have since appeared in disparate areas throughout the northern Caribbean, causing significant declines in coral communities. SCTLD is characterized by focal or multifocal lesions of denuded skeleton caused by rapid tissue loss and affects at least 22 reef-building species of Caribbean corals. A tissue-loss disease consistent with the case definition of SCTLD was first observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) in January of 2019 off the south shore of St. Thomas at Flat Cay. The objective of the present study was to characterize species susceptibility to the disease present in St. Thomas in a controlled laboratory transmission experiment. Fragments of six species of corals (Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea cavernosa, Orbicella annularis, Porites astreoides, Pseudodiploria strigosa, and Siderastrea siderea) were simultaneously incubated with (but did not physically contact) SCTLD-affected colonies of Diploria labyrinthiformis and monitored for lesion appearance over an 8 day experimental period. Paired fragments from each corresponding coral genotype were equivalently exposed to apparently healthy colonies of D. labyrinthiformis to serve as controls; none of these fragments developed lesions throughout the experiment. When tissue-loss lesions appeared and progressed in a disease treatment, the affected coral fragment, and its corresponding control genet, were removed and preserved for future analysis. Based on measures including disease prevalence and incidence, relative risk of lesion development, and lesion progression rates, O. annularis, C. natans, and S. siderea showed the greatest susceptibility to SCTLD in the USVI. These species exhibited earlier average development of lesions, higher relative risk of lesion development, greater lesion prevalence, and faster lesion progression rates compared with the other species, some of which are considered to be more susceptible based on field observations (e.g., P. strigosa). The average transmission rate in the present study was comparable to tank studies in Florida, even though disease donor species differed. Our findings suggest that the tissue loss disease affecting reefs of the USVI has a similar epizootiology to that observed in other regions, particularly Florida.
  • Article
    Experimental transmission of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease results in differential microbial responses within coral mucus and tissue
    (Springer, 2022-05-30) Huntley, Naomi ; Brandt, Marilyn ; Becker, Cynthia ; Miller, Carolyn A. ; Meiling, Sonora S. ; Correa, Adrienne M.S. ; Holstein, Daniel M. ; Muller, Erinn ; Mydlarz, Laura ; Smith, Tyler B. ; Apprill, Amy
    Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) is a widespread and deadly disease that affects nearly half of Caribbean coral species. To understand the microbial community response to this disease, we performed a disease transmission experiment on US Virgin Island (USVI) corals, exposing six species of coral with varying susceptibility to SCTLD. The microbial community of the surface mucus and tissue layers were examined separately using a small subunit ribosomal RNA gene-based sequencing approach, and data were analyzed to identify microbial community shifts following disease acquisition, potential causative pathogens, as well as compare microbiota composition to field-based corals from the USVI and Florida outbreaks. While all species displayed similar microbiome composition with disease acquisition, microbiome similarity patterns differed by both species and mucus or tissue microhabitat. Further, disease exposed but not lesioned corals harbored a mucus microbial community similar to those showing disease signs, suggesting that mucus may serve as an early warning detection for the onset of SCTLD. Like other SCTLD studies in Florida, Rhodobacteraceae, Arcobacteraceae, Desulfovibrionaceae, Peptostreptococcaceae, Fusibacter, Marinifilaceae, and Vibrionaceae dominated diseased corals. This study demonstrates the differential response of the mucus and tissue microorganisms to SCTLD and suggests that mucus microorganisms may be diagnostic for early disease exposure.