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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02699

Temporal stability of bacterial communities in Antarctic sponges

  • 1Departamento Científico, Instituto Antártico Chileno (INACH), Chile
  • 2Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), Chile
  • 3GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany

Marine sponges host dense, diverse and species-specific microbial communities around the globe; however, most of the current knowledge is restricted to species from tropical and temperate waters. Only recently, some studies have assessed the microbiome of a few Antarctic sponges, however contrary to low- mid-latitude sponges, the knowledge about temporal (stability) patterns in the bacterial communities of Antarctic sponges is absent. Here, we studied the temporal patterns of bacterial communities in the Antarctic sponges Mycale (Oxymycale) acerata, Isodictya sp., Hymeniacidon torquata, and Tedania (Tedaniopsis) wellsae that were tagged in situ and monitored during three austral summers over a 24-month period. By using amplicon sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene we found that that the microbiome differed between species. In general, bacterial communities were dominated by gammaproteobacterial OTUs; however, M. acerata showed the most distinct pattern, being dominated by a single betaproteobaterial OTU. The analysis at OTU level (defined at 97% sequence similarity) showed a highly stable bacterial community through time, despite the abnormal seawater temperatures (reaching 3°C) and rates of temperature increase of 0.15 °C day-1 recorded in austral summer 2017. Sponges were characterized by a small core bacterial community that accounted for a high percentage of the abundance. Overall, no consistent changes in core OTU abundance were recorded for all studied species, confirming a high temporal stability of the microbiome. In addition, predicted functional pathway profiles showed that the most abundant pathways among all sponges belonged mostly to metabolism pathway groups (e.g. amino acid, carbohydrate, energy, and nucleotide). The predicted functional pathway patterns differed among the four sponge species. However, no clear temporal differences were detected supporting what was found in terms of the relatively stable composition of the bacterial communities.

Keywords: Porifera, cold-water sponges, Antarctica, WAP, 16S rRNA, environmental variability

Received: 08 May 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Cardenas, Font, Steinert, Rondon and Gonzalez-Aravena. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Cesar A. Cardenas, Departamento Científico, Instituto Antártico Chileno (INACH), Punta Arenas, Chile,