Sponge-Associated Microorganisms: Evolution, Ecology, and Biotechnological Potential

Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews (Impact Factor: 14.61). 07/2007; 71(2):295-347. DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.00040-06
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Marine sponges often contain diverse and abundant microbial communities, including bacteria, archaea, microalgae, and fungi. In some cases, these microbial associates comprise as much as 40% of the sponge volume and can contribute significantly to host metabolism (e.g., via photosynthesis or nitrogen fixation). We review in detail the diversity of microbes associated with sponges, including extensive 16S rRNA-based phylogenetic analyses which support the previously suggested existence of a sponge-specific microbiota. These analyses provide a suitable vantage point from which to consider the potential evolutionary and ecological ramifications of these widespread, sponge-specific microorganisms. Subsequently, we examine the ecology of sponge-microbe associations, including the establishment and maintenance of these sometimes intimate partnerships, the varied nature of the interactions (ranging from mutualism to host-pathogen relationships), and the broad-scale patterns of symbiont distribution. The ecological and evolutionary importance of sponge-microbe associations is mirrored by their enormous biotechnological potential: marine sponges are among the animal kingdom's most prolific producers of bioactive metabolites, and in at least some cases, the compounds are of microbial rather than sponge origin. We review the status of this important field, outlining the various approaches (e.g., cultivation, cell separation, and metagenomics) which have been employed to access the chemical wealth of sponge-microbe associations.

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    • "As one of the oldest multicellular animals (Love et al., 2009), marine sponges (phylum Porifera) often harbor dense and diverse microbial communities, and the sponge-microbe associations represent one of the most complex symbioses on earth (Taylor et al., 2007). Actinobacteria are commonly found in association with sponges (Simister et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Marine sponges often harbor dense and diverse microbial communities including actinobacteria. To date no comprehensive investigation has been performed on the culturable diversity of the actinomycetes associated with South China Sea sponges. Structurally novel aromatic polyketides were recently discovered from marine sponge-derived Streptomyces and Saccharopolyspora strains, suggesting that sponge-associated actinomycetes can serve as a new source of aromatic polyketides. In this study, a total of 77 actinomycete strains were isolated from 15 South China Sea sponge species. Phylogenetic characterization of the isolates based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing supported their assignment to 12 families and 20 genera, among which three rare genera (Marihabitans, Polymorphospora, and Streptomonospora) were isolated from marine sponges for the first time. Subsequently, β-ketoacyl synthase (KSα) gene was used as marker for evaluating the potential of the actinomycete strains to produce aromatic polyketides. As a result, KSα gene was detected in 35 isolates related to seven genera (Kocuria, Micromonospora, Nocardia, Nocardiopsis, Saccharopolyspora, Salinispora, and Streptomyces). Finally, 10 strains were selected for small-scale fermentation, and one angucycline compound was detected from the culture extract of Streptomyces anulatus strain S71. This study advanced our knowledge of the sponge-associated actinomycetes regarding their diversity and potential in producing aromatic polyketides.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 10/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01048 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "Animal taxon Scleractinian coral Hydra Exaiptasia Sponge References Number of eukaryotic photosymbiont 'species' in the taxon as a whole >10 2 Symbiodinium ITS2 types*; unknown for other algae <10 3 10 1 –10 2 Symbiodinium ITS2 types; unknown for other algae Cerrano et al. (2004), Mieog et al. (2007), Taylor et al. (2007), Hill et al. (2011), Erwin et al. (2012), Franklin et al. (2012), Kawaida et al. (2013), Thornhill et al. (2013), Tonk et al. (2013) Number of eukaryotic photosymbiont 'species' per individual 10 2 –10 3 Symbiodinium ITS2 sequence types (<15 OTUs) † ; unknown for other algae 1 1 ? ‡ Arif et al. (2014), Edmunds et al. (2014) "
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    ABSTRACT: Zooxanthellate corals (i.e., those harbouring Symbiodinium) are the main builders of the world's shallow-water marine coral reefs. They represent intimate diverse symbioses between coral animals, single-celled photosynthetic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.), other microscopic eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses. Crabs and other crustaceans, worms, sponges, bivalves and hydrozoans, fishes, sea urchins, octopuses and sea stars are itinerant members of these "rainforests of the sea". This review focuses on the biodiversity of scleractinian coral animals and their best studied microscopic epi- and endo-symbionts. In relation to coral-associated species diversity, Symbiodinium internal transcribed spacer region sequence types tally 10(2) -10(3) or up ~15 different operational taxonomic units (OTUs, or putative species at the 97% sequence identity level; this cut-off was chosen based on intragenomic sequence diversity observed in monoclonal cultures) and prokaryotes (mostly bacterial) total 10(2) -10(4) OTUs. We analysed all publically accessible 16S rRNA gene sequence data and found Gammaproteobacteria were extremely abundant, followed by Alphaproteobacteria. Notably, Archaea were poorly represented and "unassigned OTUs" were abundant in data generated by high throughput DNA sequencing studies of corals. We outline and compare model systems that could be used in future studies of the coral holobiont. In our future directions, we recommend a global coral sampling effort including substantial attention being paid to method of coral tissue acquisition, which compartments (mucus, tissue, skeleton) to explore, broadening the holobiont members considered and linking biodiversity with functional investigations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Molecular Ecology 09/2015; 24(21). DOI:10.1111/mec.13400 · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    • "Five phyla of bacteria found in symbiosis in sponges, including the phylum Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria α-and γ- Proteobacteria [7]. Sponges produce chemical compounds as part of a defense system against predators and competitors [7]. The chemical compounds will also induce symbiotic microorganisms with a sponge to produce specific secondary metabolites [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Marine sponges are invertebrates in marine ecosystem which have the essential value such as pharmaceutical resources and ecological aspect in marine ecosystems. Exploitation on this sponge recently improved and several aspect of it also more have attention. Based on sponge characteristics, many microorganisms have the relationship with this creature. The microorganisms can be isolated to the numerous aspect of human life. This study purposes are isolate and determine the type and the characteristics of symbiotic bacteria on a sponge Haliclona sp. from Situbondo coastal water, East Java. The focus of characterizations is extracellular enzymes including amylolytic, proteolytic, and cellulolytic. This research was conducted qualitatively by using descriptive methods, which is data analysis was depicted in graphics and figures. The results showed that the overall bacteria symbiotic with sponges Haliclona sp. had activity in producing the enzyme amylase, cellulose, and protease and bacteria that have the best activity in producing an enzyme identified as Enterobacter sp.
    International Conference on Life Sciences and Biotechnology; 09/2015
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