Characterization Of The Microbiome Of Freshwater Sponges Undergoing Asexual Reproduction

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Taylor A. Strope (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Cara Fiore

Abstract: Sponges are sessile filter-feeding organisms that are found in both marine and freshwater habitats and are known to harbor symbiotic microbial communities. There is strong interest in understanding the taxonomic and functional composition of these microbial communities due to their integral roles in sponge ecology, nutrient cycling, and production of natural products. Particularly with freshwater sponges, there is limited work on the functional roles of the sponge microbiome. The goals of the current work were to first understand how the composition of these microbial communities change prior to, and post production of asexual reproductive bodies known as gemmules in freshwater sponges. I also aimed to determine what role, if any, the microbiome may have in the facilitating developmental change of the sponge host. Preliminary taxonomic profiling by 16S rRNA gene sequencing of sponges and river water indicated the presence of putatively sponge-enriched bacterial taxa. Metatranscriptome analysis of sponge microbiomes collected prior to gemmule formation (“pre” samples) and separate sponge microbiomes post gemmule formation (“post” samples) highlighted some important results. This study has implications for better understanding the functional roles of the microbiome in freshwater sponges and draws implications that may be relevant to marine species and other microbial symbiont systems.

Additional Information

Strope, T. (2020). Characterization Of The Microbiome Of Freshwater Sponges Undergoing Asexual Reproduction. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Freshwater Sponges, Gemmules, Microbiome, Symbiosis, Metatranscriptome

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