Sponge-bacteria interactions are very important due to their ecological and biological significance. To understand the impact of interactions between sponges and bacteria (both associated with and external to sponges) on sponge-associated microbial diversity, sponge metabolite profiles and bioactivity, we used a controlled aquarium system and designed an experimental approach that allows the study of sponge-bacteria interactions in a well-defined manner. To test the feasibility of this approach, this system was used to study the interaction between a sponge Aplysilla rosea and a marine bacterium commonly found in seawater, Vibrio natriegens. Sponge explants were exposed to V. natriegens, at 5 × 10 6 cfu/ml, and changes were monitored for 48 hours. Pyro-sequencing revealed significant shifts in microbial communities associated with the sponges after 24 to 48 hours. Both the control (sponge only without added bacteria) and Vibrio-exposed sponges showed a distinct shift in bacterial diversity and abundance with time. Vibrio exposure significantly increased bacterial diversity, the abundance of a number of taxa compared to control sponges. The result experimentally supports the notion of dynamic and concerted responses by the sponge when interacting with a bacterium, and demonstrates the feasibility of using this controlled aquarium system for the study of sponge-bacteria interactions.
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- Controlled aquarium system
- sponge-bacteria interactions
- bacterial diversity
- Vibrio natriegens
- Aplysilla rosea
- Microbial diversity