Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 543–549 | Cite as

Differential Gene Expression in a Marine Sponge in Relation to Its Symbiotic State

  • Laura Steindler
  • Silvia Schuster
  • Micha Ilan
  • Adi Avni
  • Carlo Cerrano
  • Sven Beer
Short Communication

Abstract

The molecular mechanisms involved in the establishment and maintenance of sponge photosymbiosis, and in particular the association with cyanobacteria, are unknown. In the present study we analyzed gene expression in a common Mediterranean sponge (Petrosia ficiformis) in relation to its symbiotic (with cyanobacteria) or aposymbiotic status. A screening approach was applied to identify genes expressed differentially in symbiotic specimens growing in the light and aposymbiotic specimens growing in a dark cave at a short distance from the illuminated specimens. Out of the various differentially expressed sequences, we isolated two novel genes (here named PfSym1 and PfSym2) that were up-regulated when cyanobacterial symbionts were harbored inside the sponge cells. The sequence of one of these genes (PfSym2) was found to contain a conserved domain: the scavenger receptor cysteine rich (SRCR) domain. This is the first report on the expression of sponge genes in relation to symbiosis and, according to the presence of an SRCR domain, we suggest possible functions for one of the genes found in the sponge-cyanobacteria symbiosis.

Keywords

cyanobacteria differential gene expression sponge suppression subtractive hybridization symbiosis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Steindler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Silvia Schuster
    • 1
  • Micha Ilan
    • 2
  • Adi Avni
    • 1
  • Carlo Cerrano
    • 3
  • Sven Beer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Sciences, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue RisorseUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly

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