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Marine sponges are well known for their associations with highly diverse, yet very specific and often highly similar microbiota. The aim of this study was to identify potential bacterial sub-populations in relation to sponge phylogeny and sampling sites and to define the core bacterial community. 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing was applied to(More)
The potential for nitrification in the Mediterranean sponge Aplysina aerophoba was assessed using a combined physiological and molecular approach. Nitrate excretion rates in whole sponges reached values of up to 344 nmol g(-1) dry weight (wt) h(-1) (unstimulated) and 1325 nmol g(-1) dry wt h(-1) (stimulated). Addition of nitrapyrin, a nitrification-specific(More)
Numerous studies have reported the existence of sponge-specific 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence clusters, representing bacteria found in sponges but not detected in other environments, such as seawater. The advent of deep-sequencing technologies allows us to examine the rare microbial biosphere in order to establish whether these bacteria are truly(More)
Many marine sponges, hereafter termed high-microbial-abundance (HMA) sponges, harbor large and complex microbial consortia, including bacteria and archaea, within their mesohyl matrices. To investigate vertical microbial transmission as a strategy to maintain these complex associations, an extensive phylogenetic analysis was carried out with the 16S rRNA(More)
It has long been recognized that sponges differ in the abundance of associated microorganisms, and they are therefore termed either 'low microbial abundance' (LMA) or 'high microbial abundance' (HMA) sponges. Many previous studies concentrated on the dense microbial communities in HMA sponges, whereas little is known about microorganisms in LMA sponges.(More)
18S ribosomal DNA and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS-2) full-length sequences, each of which was sequenced three times, were used to construct phylogenetic trees with alignments based on secondary structures, in order to elucidate genealogical relationships within the Aplysinidae (Verongida). The first poriferan ITS-2 secondary structures are reported.(More)
Cultivated bacteria such as actinomycetes are a highly useful source of biomedically important natural products. However, such 'talented' producers represent only a minute fraction of the entire, mostly uncultivated, prokaryotic diversity. The uncultured majority is generally perceived as a large, untapped resource of new drug candidates, but so far it is(More)
The phylogenetic diversity of microorganisms in marine sponges is becoming increasingly well described, yet relatively little is known about the activities of these symbionts. Given the seemingly favourable environment provided to microbes by their sponge hosts, as indicated by the extraordinarily high abundance of sponge symbionts, we hypothesized that the(More)
Many marine demosponges contain large amounts of phylogenetically complex yet highly sponge-specific microbial consortia within the mesohyl matrix, but little is known about how these microorganisms are acquired by their hosts. Settlement experiments were performed with the viviparous Caribbean demosponge Ircinia felix to investigate the role of larvae in(More)