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J Biotechnol. 2003 Jan 23;100(2):141-6.

Progress towards a controlled culture of the marine sponge Pseudosuberites andrewsi in a bioreactor.

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Food and Bioprocess Engineering Group, Department of Food Science and Technology, Wageningen Agricultural University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Explants of the tropical sponge Pseudosuberites andrewsi were fed with the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornotum. The food was supplied either as intact algae or as a filtered crude extract. Growth (measured as an increase in underwater weight) was found in both experiments. The explants fed with intact algae increased to an average underwater weight of 255% of the initial weight in 45-60 days. The explants fed with crude extract increased to an average of 200% of the initial weight in 30 days. These results show that it is possible to grow a sponge using a single microorganism species as a food source. In addition, it was demonstrated that sponges are also capable of growing on non-particulate food. Therefore, this study is an important step forward towards the development of controlled, in vivo sponge cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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