Marine Biology

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 99-104

First online:

Isolation of Oscillatoria spongeliae, the filamentous cyanobacterial symbiont of the marine sponge Dysidea herbacea

  • R. HindeAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, A12, University of Sydney
  • , F. PironetAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, A12, University of Sydney
  • , M. A. BorowitzkaAffiliated withSchool of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Murdoch University

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The tropical marine sponge Dysidea herbacea (Keller) (Dictyoceratidae: Dysideidae) is always found associated with the filamentous cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) Oscillatoria spongeliae (Schulze) Hauck (Cyanophyceae: Oscillatoriaceae), which occurs abundantly throughout the sponge mesohyl. Intact, metabolically active, trichomes of O. spongeliae were isolated from the sponge by chopping the sponge tissue with a razor blade and squeezing the trichomes into a seawater-based medium containing polyvinylpyrrolidone, bovine serum albumin, dithiothreitol, glycerol, KCl and Na2CO3. The isolated cyanobacteria were concentrated by centrifugation and then washed several times in fresh medium. The isolated O. spongeliae have photosynthetic rates which are similar to the intact sponge-alga association for periods of at least 6 h after isolation. Addition of sponge homogenate to the isolated cyanobacteria causes rapid cell lysis.