, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 13-21

Specificity of bacterial symbionts in Mediterranean and Great Barrier Reef sponges

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Bacteria were isolated from marine sponges from the Mediterranean and the Great Barrier Reef and characterized using numerical taxonomy techniques. A similar sponge-specific bacterial symbiont was found in 9 of 10 sponges examined from both geographic regions. This symbiont occurred in sponges of two classes and seven orders, and it probably has been associated with sponges over a long geological time scale. Another symbiont apparently specific to the spongeVerongia aerophoba was found. This sponge is yellow-orange, similar in color to the bacterial symbiont. These symbionts are two of a large mixed bacterial population present in many sponges.

This paper constitutes No. V in the series Microbial Associations in Sponges.