Compositional analysis of bacterial communities in seawater, sediment, and sponges in the Misool coral reef system, Indonesia

Daniel Francis Richard Cleary*, Ana Rita Moura Polónia, Leontine E. Becking, Nicole Joy de Voogd, Purwanto, Helder Gomes, Newton Carlos Marcial Gomes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Sponge species have been deemed high microbial abundance (HMA) or low microbial abundance (LMA) based on the composition and abundance of their microbial symbionts. In the present study, we evaluated the richness and composition of bacterial communities associated with one HMA sponge (Xestospongia testudinaria; Demospongiae: Haplosclerida: Petrosiidae), one LMA sponge (Stylissa carteri; Demospongiae: Scopalinida - Scopalinidae), and one sponge with a hitherto unknown microbial community (Aaptos suberitoides; Demospongiae: Suberitida: Suberitidae) inhabiting the Misool coral reef system in the West Papua province of Indonesia. The bacterial communities of these sponge species were also compared with seawater and sediment bacterial communities from the same coastal coral reef habitat. Using a 16S rRNA gene barcoded pyrosequencing approach, we showed that the most abundant phylum overall was Proteobacteria. The biotope (sponge species, sediment or seawater) explained almost 84% of the variation in bacterial composition with highly significant differences in composition among biotopes and a clear separation between bacterial communities from seawater and S. carteri; X. testudinaria and A. suberitoides and sediment. The Chloroflexi classes SAR202 and Anaerolineae were most abundant in A. suberitoides and X. testudinaria and both of these species shared several OTUs that were largely absent in the remaining biotopes. This suggests that A. suberitoides is a HMA sponge. Although similar, the bacterial communities of S. carteri and seawater were compositionally distinct. These results confirm compositional differences between sponge and non-sponge biotopes and between HMA and LMA sponges
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1901
JournalMarine Biodiversity: international journal of marine science
Issue number4
Early online date23 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • 16S rRNA gene, Xestospongia testudinaria
  • Aaptos suberitoides
  • Microbial abundance
  • Stylissa Carteri


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