Microbial Ecology

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 1024–1034 | Cite as

Brown Rot Syndrome and Changes in the Bacterial Сommunity of the Baikal Sponge Lubomirskia baicalensis

  • Nina V. KulakovaEmail author
  • Maria V. Sakirko
  • Renat V. Adelshin
  • Igor V. Khanaev
  • Ivan A. Nebesnykh
  • Thierry Pérez
Invertebrate Microbiology


Mass mortality events have led to a collapse of the sponge fauna of Lake Baikal. We describe a new Brown Rot Syndrome affecting the endemic species Lubomirskia baicalensis. The main symptoms are the appearance of brown patches at the sponge surface, necrosis, and cyanobacterial fouling. 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to characterize the bacterial community of healthy versus diseased sponges, in order to identify putative pathogens. The relative abundance of 89 eubacterial OTUs out of 340 detected has significantly changed between healthy and diseased groups. This can be explained by the depletion of host-specific prokaryotes and by the appearance and proliferation of disease-specific OTUs. In diseased sponges, the most represented OTUs belong to the families Oscillatoriaceae, Cytophagaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Chitinophagaceae, Sphingobacteriaceae, Burkholderiaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Comamonadaceae, Oxalobacteraceae, and Xanthomonadaceae. Although these families may contain pathogenic agents, the primary causes of changes in the sponge bacterial community and their relationship with Brown Rot Syndrome remain unclear. A better understanding of this ecological crisis will thus require a more integrative approach.


Disease outbreak Mass mortality Porifera Brown Rot Syndrome Opportunistic pathogens Freshwater 



We thank Sergey Feranchuk for bioinformatics analysis, Olga Maikova for the morphological identification, the diver Yuriy Yushchik for sampling, Natalya Bel’kova for sharing amplification primers, Maxim Khasnatinov for assistance with statistical analyses, Lubov Kravtsova and Tatyana Butina for the valuable discussion, Rachel Mackie for the English reviewing, and finally Sergey Belikov and Alexander Ereskovsky for their support.

Funding Information

Funding came from the Russian State Projects (0345-2016-0002, 0345-2016-0008), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research Project (16-54-150007), and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, PRC 216483).

Supplementary material

248_2017_1097_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 56 kb)
248_2017_1097_MOESM2_ESM.txt (55 kb)
ESM 2 (TXT 55 kb)
248_2017_1097_MOESM3_ESM.doc (194 kb)
ESM 3 (DOC 193 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina V. Kulakova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria V. Sakirko
    • 1
  • Renat V. Adelshin
    • 2
  • Igor V. Khanaev
    • 1
  • Ivan A. Nebesnykh
    • 1
  • Thierry Pérez
    • 3
  1. 1.Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesIrkutskRussia
  2. 2.Irkutsk Antiplague Research Institute of Siberia and Far EastIrkutskRussia
  3. 3.Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE), CNRS, Aix Marseille Univ, IRD, Avignon Univ, Station Marine d’EndoumeMarseilleFrance

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