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Bacterial Community Analyses of Two Red Sea Sponges

Mona Radwan1, Amro Hanora2, Jindong Zan3, Naglaa M. Mohamed3, Dina M. Abo-Elmatty1, Soad H. Abou-El-Ela1 and Russell T. Hill3
 

Abstract

 Red Sea sponges offer potential as sources of novel drugs and bioactive compounds. Sponges harbor diverse and abundant prokaryotic communities. The diversity of Egyptian sponge-associated bacterial communities has not yet been explored. Our study is the first culture-based and culture-independent investigation of the total bacterial assemblages associated with two Red Sea Demosponges, Hyrtios erectus and Amphimedon sp. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprint-based analysis revealed statistically different banding patterns of the bacterial communities of the studied sponges with H. erectus having the greater diversity. 16S rRNA clone libraries of both sponges revealed diverse and complex bacterial  ssemblages represented by ten phyla for H. erectus and five phyla for Amphimedon sp. The bacterial community associated with H. erectus was dominated by  eltaproteobacteria. Clones affiliated with Gammaproteobacteria were the major component of the clone library of Amphimedon sp. About a third of the 16S rRNA gene sequences in these communities were derived from bacteria that are novel at least at the species level. Although the overall bacterial communities were  significantly different, some bacterial groups, including members of Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria, were found in both sponge species. The culture-based component of this study targeted Actinobacteria and resulted in the isolation of 35 sponge-associated microbes. The current study lays the groundwork for future studies of the role of these diverse microbes in the ecology, evolution, and development of marine sponges. In addition, our work provides an excellent resource of several candidate         bacteria for production of novel pharmaceutically important compounds.               

Keywords  Red Sea -  Hyrtios erectus  -  Amphimedon sp. - Bacterial communities - 16S rRNA - DGGE - Actinobacteria  






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