, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 349–353 | Cite as

Cyanobacterial symbiont biosynthesis of chlorinated metabolites fromDysidea herbacea (Porifera)

  • M. D. Unson
  • D. J. Faulkner
Experimental World Research Articles


The tropical marine spongeDysidea herbacea contains large numbers of a symbiotic filamentous cyanobacterium identified on the basis of a detailed ultrastructural study asOscillatoria spongeliae. We report the flow-cytometric separation of the symbiont from the sponge cells, and demonstrate by chemical analyses that a unique group of polychlorinated compounds isolated from the whole sponge tissue is limited to the cyanobacterial filaments, whereas the accompanying sesquiterpenoids are found only in the sponge cells. This is the first demonstration that secondary metabolites ascribed to a sponge are localized in prokaryotic symbiont cells.

Key words

Sponge Dysidea herbacea cyanobacterium Oscillatoria spongeliae symbiosis, secondary metabolites flow cytometry 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Unson
    • 1
  • D. J. Faulkner
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA

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