Metagenomic Analysis of Genes Encoding Nutrient Cycling Pathways in the Microbiota of Deep-Sea and Shallow-Water Sponges
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Sponges host complex symbiotic communities, but to date, the whole picture of the metabolic potential of sponge microbiota remains unclear, particularly the difference between the shallow-water and deep-sea sponge holobionts. In this study, two completely different sponges, shallow-water sponge Theonella swinhoei from the South China Sea and deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi from the Indian Ocean, were selected to compare their whole symbiotic communities and metabolic potential, particularly in element transformation. Phylogenetically diverse bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae were detected in both shallow-water sponge T. swinhoei and deep-sea sponge N. huxleyi, and different microbial community structures were indicated between these two sponges. Metagenome-based gene abundance analysis indicated that, though the two sponge microbiota have similar core functions, they showed different potential strategies in detailed metabolic processes, e.g., in the transformation and utilization of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur by corresponding microbial symbionts. This study provides insight into the putative metabolic potentials of the microbiota associated with the shallow-water and deep-sea sponges at the whole community level, extending our knowledge of the sponge microbiota’s functions, the association of sponge- microbes, as well as the adaption of sponge microbiota to the marine environment.
KeywordsSponge holobiont Metagenomics Metabolic profile Nutrient element
Financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (U1301131, 41176127, 41076077) and Minhang Leading Talent Project are greatly acknowledged.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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