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      Marine Sponge Derived Natural Products between 2001 and 2010: Trends and Opportunities for Discovery of Bioactives

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          Marine sponges belonging to the phylum Porifera (Metazoa), evolutionarily the oldest animals are the single best source of marine natural products. The present review presents a comprehensive overview of the source, taxonomy, country of origin or geographical position, chemical class, and biological activity of sponge-derived new natural products discovered between 2001 and 2010. The data has been analyzed with a view to gaining an outlook on the future trends and opportunities in the search for new compounds and their sources from marine sponges.

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          Assessing the complex sponge microbiota: core, variable and species-specific bacterial communities in marine sponges.

          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 32 sponge species from eight locations around the world's oceans, thereby generating 2567 operational taxonomic units (OTUs at the 97% sequence similarity level) in total and up to 364 different OTUs per sponge species. The taxonomic richness detected in this study comprised 25 bacterial phyla with Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi and Poribacteria being most diverse in sponges. Among these phyla were nine candidate phyla, six of them found for the first time in sponges. Similarity comparison of bacterial communities revealed no correlation with host phylogeny but a tropical sub-population in that tropical sponges have more similar bacterial communities to each other than to subtropical sponges. A minimal core bacterial community consisting of very few OTUs (97%, 95% and 90%) was found. These microbes have a global distribution and are probably acquired via environmental transmission. In contrast, a large species-specific bacterial community was detected, which is represented by OTUs present in only a single sponge species. The species-specific bacterial community is probably mainly vertically transmitted. It is proposed that different sponges contain different bacterial species, however, these bacteria are still closely related to each other explaining the observed similarity of bacterial communities in sponges in this and previous studies. This global analysis represents the most comprehensive study of bacterial symbionts in sponges to date and provides novel insights into the complex structure of these unique associations.
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            Molecular evidence for a uniform microbial community in sponges from different oceans.

            Sponges (class Porifera) are evolutionarily ancient metazoans that populate the tropical oceans in great abundances but also occur in temperate regions and even in freshwater. Sponges contain large numbers of bacteria that are embedded within the animal matrix. The phylogeny of these bacteria and the evolutionary age of the interaction are virtually unknown. In order to provide insights into the species richness of the microbial community of sponges, we performed a comprehensive diversity survey based on 190 sponge-derived 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences. The sponges Aplysina aerophoba and Theonella swinhoei were chosen for construction of the bacterial 16S rDNA library because they are taxonomically distantly related and they populate nonoverlapping geographic regions. In both sponges, a uniform microbial community was discovered whose phylogenetic signature is distinctly different from that of marine plankton or marine sediments. Altogether 14 monophyletic, sponge-specific sequence clusters were identified that belong to at least seven different bacterial divisions. By definition, the sequences of each cluster are more closely related to each other than to a sequence from nonsponge sources. These monophyletic clusters comprise 70% of all publicly available sponge-derived 16S rDNA sequences, reflecting the generality of the observed phenomenon. This shared microbial fraction represents the smallest common denominator of the sponges investigated in this study. Bacteria that are exclusively found in certain host species or that occur only transiently would have been missed. A picture emerges where sponges can be viewed as highly concentrated reservoirs of so far uncultured and elusive marine microorganisms.
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              Marine sponges and their microbial symbionts: love and other relationships.

              Many marine sponges harbour dense and diverse microbial communities of considerable ecological and biotechnological importance. While the past decade has seen tremendous advances in our understanding of the phylogenetic diversity of sponge-associated microorganisms (more than 25 bacterial phyla have now been reported from sponges), it is only in the past 3-4 years that the in situ activity and function of these microbes has become a major research focus. Already the rewards of this new emphasis are evident, with genomics and experimental approaches yielding novel insights into symbiont function. Key steps in the nitrogen cycle [denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox)] have recently been demonstrated in sponges for the first time, with diverse bacteria - including the sponge-associated candidate phylum 'Poribacteria'- being implicated in these processes. In this minireview we examine recent major developments in the microbiology of sponges, and identify several research areas (e.g. biology of viruses in sponges, effects of environmental stress) that we believe are deserving of increased attention. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

                Author and article information

                Mar Drugs
                Mar Drugs
                Marine Drugs
                19 August 2014
                August 2014
                : 12
                : 8
                : 4539-4577
                [1 ]Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia; E-Mails: mohammad.mehbub@ (M.F.M.); etuferdous@ (J.L.)
                [2 ]Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia
                [3 ]Department of Fisheries Technology, Faculty of Fisheries, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Dinajpur 5200, Bangladesh
                Author notes
                [* ]Authors to whom all correspondence should be addressed: E-Mails: chris.franco@ (C.F.); wei.zhang@ (W.Z.); Tel.: +61-8-72218554 (C.F.); +61-8-72218557 (W.Z.); Fax: +61-8-72218555 (C.F. & W.Z.).
                © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (



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