Uncovering the Microbial Diversity of Two Exotic Calcareous Sponges

Bárbara Ribeiro, André Padua, Bruno Francesco Rodrigues de Oliveira, Gabriela Puccinelli, Flávio da Costa Fernandes, Marinella Silva Laport, Michelle Klautau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Sponges-associated microorganisms play important roles in their health and ecology; consequently, they may be crucial in the successful adaptation of exotic species to novel environments. However, few studies have focused on the microbial diversity of exotic sponges, especially those with calcium carbonate spicules (class Calcarea). Therefore, this is the first in situ characterization of the microbiota of the exotic calcareous sponges Sycettusahastifera and Paraleucillamagna. Our results suggest that S. hastifera has a more stable microbiota than P. magna, as there were no differences in its beta diversity among sampling sites. Conversely, P. magna showed significant differences in its microbial communities, perhaps related to its adhesion to artificial substrate and/or shellfish mariculture activities. Each sponge species presented a single dominant proteobacterial OTU potentially active in the nitrogen cycle, which could help sponge detoxification, especially in polluted areas where exotic species usually establish. Our results show the importance of assessing the microbial diversity to unveil host-microorganism relationships and suggest that these associated nitrogen-cycling microorganisms could favor the success of exotic sponges in new environments.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-746
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobial ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Soil Science


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