Bacterial communities of the marine sponges Hymeniacidon heliophila and Polymastia janeirensis and their environment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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In this study we performed a survey of the bacterial communities associated with the Western Atlantic demosponges Hymeniacidon heliophila and Polymastia janeirensis, based on 16S rRNA sequencing and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We compared diversity and composition of the sponge-associated bacteria to those of environmental bacteria, represented by free-living bacterioplankton and by bacteria attached to organic particulate matter in superficial sediments. Partial bacterial 16S rRNA sequences from seawater, sediment, and sponges were retrieved by PCR, cloning, and sequencing. Sequences were subjected to rarefaction analyses, phylogenetic tree construction, and LIBSHUFF quantitative statistics to verify coverage and similarity between libraries. Community structure of the free-living bacterioplankton was phylogenetically different from that of the sponge-associated bacterial assemblages. On the other hand, some sediment-attached bacteria were also found in the sponge bacterial community, indicating that sponges may incorporate bacteria together with sediment particles. Rare and few prokaryotic morphotypes were found in TEM analyses of sponge mesohyl matrix of both species. Molecular data indicate that bacterial richness and diversity decreases from bacterioplankton, to particulate organic sediment, and to H. heliophila and P. janeirensis. Sponges from Rio de Janeiro harbor a pool of novel and exclusive sponge-associated bacterial taxa. Sponge-associated bacterial communities are composed of both taxons shared by many sponge groups and by species-specific bacteria.
KeywordsSponge Bacterial Community Sponge Species Sponge Tissue Bacterial Phylotypes
We thank the Genome Sequencing facilities core Johanna Döbereiner, IBqM/UFRJ. We are grateful to Alvaro N. A. Monteiro for enthusiastic discussions and manuscript review. We thank Fernando C. Moraes (Museu Nacional, UFRJ) for help with sample collection. We are also grateful to Noemia Rodrigues (IBCCF, UFRJ) for help with TEM. This work was supported by grants and fellowships from FAPERJ (E-26/171.282/2006) and CNPq, Brazil. The experiments described here comply with the Brazilian environmental protection laws.
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