Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Karen E. Nelson

Marine Invertebrate Animal Metagenomics: Porifera

  • Jonathan KennedyEmail author
  • Stephen Jackson
  • John P. Morrissey
  • Fergal O’Gara
  • Alan D. W. Dobson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6418-1_110-4


The phylum Porifera is commonly known as sponges, with the Latin name of the phylum deriving from the large number of pores found on their surfaces. Sponges are the oldest metazoan animal phylum, with fossil records dating back to almost 600 Ma. The phylum contains around 6,000 species in a paraphyletic grouping consisting of three major sublineages, namely, the Calcarea (calcareous sponges), Hexactinellida (glass sponges), and Demospongiae(demosponges), with the last group containing the majority of extant species. Sponges are predominantly found in tropical and subtropical oceans as well as in the deep sea and also in polar regions, with some sponges even being found in freshwater systems. Quite often they are dominant members of particular benthic communities, and as a result sponges can exert important ecological influences on many benthic and pelagic processes. Sponges possess a relatively simple body plan with a variety of overall body shapes which have adapted for...


Marine Sponge Metagenomic Library Bacterial Symbiont Nonribosomal Peptide Calcareous Sponge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Kennedy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephen Jackson
    • 1
  • John P. Morrissey
    • 1
  • Fergal O’Gara
    • 2
  • Alan D. W. Dobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biotechnology Centre, Environmental Research Institute, and School of MicrobiologyUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.BIOMERIT Research Centre and School of MicrobiologyUniversity College CorkCorkIreland