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Mar Pollut Bull. 2010 Aug;60(8):1182-7. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.03.035.

Bacterial accumulation by the Demospongiae Hymeniacidon perlevis: a tool for the bioremediation of polluted seawater.

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Dipartimento di Biologia Animale ed Ambientale, Università di Bari, Via Orabona, 4-70125 Bari, Italy.


Sponges can filter large amounts of water, which exerts an important grazing impact on free bacteria, an important component of the diet of sponges. We examined the accumulation of bacteria in the Demospongiae (Hymeniacidon perlevis). Analyses were performed on homogenates from unstarved and starved sponges in seawater from their sampling site (the Ionian Sea). Culturable heterotrophic bacteria (22 degrees C), total culturable bacteria (37 degrees C) and vibrios densities were measured on marine agar 2216, plate count agar and TCBS agar, respectively. Total and fecal coliforms, as well as fecal streptococci, were determined by the most probable number method (MPN). H. perlevis was able to accumulate all of the six microbiological groups. Bacterial groups differed in their resistance to digestion by H. perlevis. Our data suggest that H. perlevis may accumulate, remediate and metabolize bacteria and that they may be employed as a useful bioindicator and bioremediator.

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