Deep sequencing reveals exceptional diversity and modes of transmission for bacterial sponge symbionts

Webster, Nicole S., Taylor, Michael W., Behnam, Faris, Lücker, Sebastian, Rattei, Thomas, Whalan, Stephen, Horn, Matthias, and Wagner, Michael (2010) Deep sequencing reveals exceptional diversity and modes of transmission for bacterial sponge symbionts. Environmental Microbiology, 12 (8). pp. 2070-2082.

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Abstract

Marine sponges contain complex bacterial communities of considerable ecological and biotechnological importance, with many of these organisms postulated to be specific to sponge hosts. Testing this hypothesis in light of the recent discovery of the rare microbial biosphere, we investigated three Australian sponges by massively parallel 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing. Here we show bacterial diversity that is unparalleled in an invertebrate host, with more than 250 000 sponge-derived sequence tags being assigned to 23 bacterial phyla and revealing up to 2996 operational taxonomic units (95% sequence similarity) per sponge species. Of the 33 previously described 'sponge-specific' clusters that were detected in this study, 48% were found exclusively in adults and larvae – implying vertical transmission of these groups. The remaining taxa, including 'Poribacteria', were also found at very low abundance among the 135 000 tags retrieved from surrounding seawater. Thus, members of the rare seawater biosphere may serve as seed organisms for widely occurring symbiont populations in sponges and their host association might have evolved much more recently than previously thought.

Item ID: 16894
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1462-2920
Date Deposited: 12 May 2011 00:21
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 70%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Scopus Scopus 115
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