Microbial Ecology

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 239–254 | Cite as

Sponge Prokaryote Communities in Taiwanese Coral Reef and Shallow Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems

  • F. J. R. C. Coelho
  • D. F. R. Cleary
  • N. C. M. Gomes
  • A. R. M. Pólonia
  • Y. M. Huang
  • L.-L. Liu
  • N. J. de VoogdEmail author
Invertebrate Microbiology


Previously, it was believed that the prokaryote communities of typical ‘low-microbial abundance’ (LMA) or ‘non-symbiont harboring’ sponges were merely subsets of the prokaryote plankton community. Recent research has, however, shown that these sponges are dominated by particular clades of Proteobacteria or Cyanobacteria. Here, we expand on this research and assess the composition and putative functional profiles of prokaryotic communities from LMA sponges collected in two ecosystems (coral reef and hydrothermal vent) from vicinal islands of Taiwan with distinct physicochemical conditions. Six sponge species identified as Acanthella cavernosa (Bubarida), Echinodictyum asperum, Ptilocaulis spiculifer (Axinellida), Jaspis splendens (Tetractinellida), Stylissa carteri (Scopalinida) and Suberites sp. (Suberitida) were sampled in coral reefs in the Penghu archipelago. One sponge species provisionally identified as Hymeniacidon novo spec. (Suberitida) was sampled in hydrothermal vent habitat. Each sponge was dominated by a limited set of operational taxonomic units which were similar to sequences from organisms previously obtained from other LMA sponges. There was a distinct bacterial community between sponges collected in coral reef and in hydrothermal vents. The putative functional profile revealed that the prokaryote community from sponges collected in hydrothermal vents was significantly enriched for pathways related to DNA replication and repair.


Archaea Bacteria Low microbial abundance sponges Hydrothermal vent Reef coral 



Thanks are due, for the financial support to CESAM (UID/AMB/50017/2013), to FCT/MEC through national funds, and the co-funding by the FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020. This work was also supported by the projects LESS CORAL (PTDC/AAC-AMB/115304/2009) and EcotechSponge (PTDC/BIA-MIC/6473/2014 - POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016531) Thank are also due to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan under grant NSC 102-2815-C-346-010-B and the Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University, supported by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan. Francisco J. R. C. Coelho was supported by a postdoctoral scholarship (SFRH/BPD/92366/2013) financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. We are grateful for the support in the field by Julian Cleary, Floris Cleary and Katherine Liao.

Supplementary material

248_2017_1023_MOESM1_ESM.docx (696 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 695 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. R. C. Coelho
    • 1
  • D. F. R. Cleary
    • 1
  • N. C. M. Gomes
    • 1
  • A. R. M. Pólonia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. M. Huang
    • 3
    • 4
  • L.-L. Liu
    • 5
  • N. J. de Voogd
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology & CESAMUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Center for Neuroscience and Cell BiologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Marine RecreationNational Penghu University of Science and TechnologyPenghuTaiwan
  4. 4.Naturalis Biodiversity CenterLeidenthe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of OceanographyNational Sun Yet-Sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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