Antimicrobial activities and diversity of sponge derived microbes

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Flemer, Burkhardt
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University College Cork
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In this study, marine sponges collected in Irish waters were analysed for their associated microbiota. Of the approximately 240 bacterial isolates obtained from two sponges several showed antimicrobial activity; among them members of genera which have rarely been shown to produce antimicrobial compounds. Differences observed from the sponge-derived groups of isolates in terms of bioactivity suggests that S. carnosus isolates may be a better source of antibacterial compounds, while Leucosolenia sp. isolates appear to be a better source of antifungal compounds. More than 60% of fungal isolates obtained from 12 sponge samples proved to be bioactive. One of the isolates, which was closely related to Fusarium oxysporum and showed activity against bacteria and fungi, was investigated for its secondary metabolite genes. At least 5 different NRPS genes, with a sequence similarity as low as 50 % to known genes, were identified highlighting the likelihood that this isolate may be capable of producing novel secondary metabolites. A Micromonospora sp. was isolated from a Haliclona simulans sample collected in Irish waters. The isolate inhibited the growth of Gram positive bacterial test strains in three different antimicrobial assays. Employing preparative layer chromatography the compound responsible for the bioactivity could be isolated. According to LC-MS andNMR data the bioactive compound could indeed be novel. Finally, two deep water sponges were shown to host a remarkably different bacterial and archaeal diversity by application of 454 Pyrosequencing. The L. diversichela –proteobacterial community was dominated by a single ƴ-proteobacterial bacterium whereas the S. normani sample hosted a largely sponge specific microbial community, even more diverse than has been previously reported for shallow water sponges. Organisms potentially involved in nitrification, sulphate reduction and secondary metabolite production were found to be spatially distributed in the sponge. Furthermore, a deep sea specific population was implied.
Molecular microbial diversity , 454 sequencing , Marine sponges , Bioactive secondary metabolites
Flemer, B. 2013. Antimicrobial activities and diversity of sponge derived microbes. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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