Next Article in Journal
Anthracenedione Derivatives as Anticancer Agents Isolated from Secondary Metabolites of the Mangrove Endophytic Fungi
Next Article in Special Issue
Biological Activities of Aqueous and Organic Extracts from Tropical Marine Sponges
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Synthesis of the Marine Pyrroloiminoquinone Alkaloids, Discorhabdins
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(4), 1417-1468; doi:10.3390/md8041417

Marine Drugs from Sponge-Microbe Association—A Review

Biological Oceanography, National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa, Pin-403004, India
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 February 2010 / Revised: 13 April 2010 / Accepted: 19 April 2010 / Published: 22 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds from Marine Sponges)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [398 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |   Browse Figures


The subject of this review is the biodiversity of marine sponges and associated microbes which have been reported to produce therapeutically important compounds, along with the contextual information on their geographic distribution. Class Demospongiae and the orders Halichondrida, Poecilosclerida and Dictyoceratida are the richest sources of these compounds. Among the microbial associates, members of the bacterial phylum Actinobacteria and fungal division Ascomycota have been identified to be the dominant producers of therapeutics. Though the number of bacterial associates outnumber the fungal associates, the documented potential of fungi to produce clinically active compounds is currently more important than that of bacteria. Interestingly, production of a few identical compounds by entirely different host-microbial associations has been detected in both terrestrial and marine environments. In the Demospongiae, microbial association is highly specific and so to the production of compounds. Besides, persistent production of bioactive compounds has also been encountered in highly specific host-symbiont associations. Though spatial and temporal variations are known to have a marked effect on the quality and quantity of bioactive compounds, only a few studies have covered these dimensions. The need to augment production of these compounds through tissue culture and mariculture has also been stressed. The reviewed database of these compounds is available at
Keywords: marine drugs; sponges; microbial symbionts; bioactive compounds marine drugs; sponges; microbial symbionts; bioactive compounds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
MDPI and ACS Style

Thomas, T.R.A.; Kavlekar, D.P.; LokaBharathi, P.A. Marine Drugs from Sponge-Microbe Association—A Review. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 1417-1468.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


Cited By

[Return to top]
Mar. Drugs EISSN 1660-3397 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert