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Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(4), 95; doi:10.3390/md15040095

A Place to Call Home: An Analysis of the Bacterial Communities in Two Tethya rubra Samaai and Gibbons 2005 Populations in Algoa Bay, South Africa

1
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6139, South Africa
2
Elwandle Coastal Node, South African Environmental Observation Network, Port Elizabeth 6001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Allen Place, Rosemary Jagus, Joy Watts and Keith B. Glaser
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and New Perspectives in Marine Biotechnology II 2016)
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Abstract

Sponges are important sources of bioactive secondary metabolites. These compounds are frequently synthesized by bacterial symbionts, which may be recruited from the surrounding seawater or transferred to the sponge progeny by the parent. In this study, we investigated the bacterial communities associated with the sponge Tethya rubra Samaai and Gibbons 2005. Sponge specimens were collected from Evans Peak and RIY Banks reefs in Algoa Bay, South Africa and taxonomically identified by spicule analysis and molecular barcoding. Crude chemical extracts generated from individual sponges were profiled by ultraviolet high performance liquid chromatography (UV-HPLC) and subjected to bioactivity assays in mammalian cells. Next-generation sequencing analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences was used to characterize sponge-associated bacterial communities. T. rubra sponges collected from the two locations were morphologically and genetically indistinguishable. Chemical extracts from sponges collected at RIY banks showed mild inhibition of the metabolic activity of mammalian cells and their UV-HPLC profiles were distinct from those of sponges collected at Evans Peak. Similarly, the bacterial communities associated with sponges from the two locations were distinct with evidence of vertical transmission of symbionts from the sponge parent to its embryos. We conclude that these distinct bacterial communities may be responsible for the differences observed in the chemical profiles of the two Algoa Bay T. rubra Samaai and Gibbons 2005 populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine microbiology; bioactive compounds; marine metagenomics; drug discovery and development marine microbiology; bioactive compounds; marine metagenomics; drug discovery and development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Waterworth, S.C.; Jiwaji, M.; Kalinski, J.-C.J.; Parker-Nance, S.; Dorrington, R.A. A Place to Call Home: An Analysis of the Bacterial Communities in Two Tethya rubra Samaai and Gibbons 2005 Populations in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 95.

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