In situ devices can culture the microbial dark matter of corals

Flúvio Modolon, Júnia Schultz, Gustavo Duarte, Caren Leite Spindola Vilela, Torsten Thomas, Raquel Silva Peixoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most microorganisms found in environmental samples have never been cultured and can often only be explored through molecular or microscopic approaches. Here, we adapt the use of in situ diffusion-based devices to culture “yet-to-be-cultured” microorganisms associated with coral mucus and compare this with a traditional culturing method. The culturability of microorganisms associated with mucus of the coral Pocillopora damicornis increased by 420% and 570% with diffusion growth chambers and microwell chip devices, respectively, compared with the traditional method tested. The obtained cultures represent up to 64.4% of the total diversity of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) found in the mucus of the coral P. damicornis. In addition, some previously uncultured microorganisms, such as members of the family Nitrosopumilaceae and halophilic/halotolerant bacteria were cultured. Our results validate alternative microbial culturing strategies to culture coral-associated microorganisms, while significantly increasing the culturability of previous microbial dark matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108374
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • Marine biotechnology
  • Marine organism
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'In situ devices can culture the microbial dark matter of corals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this