Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 11;9(3):e90517. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090517. eCollection 2014.

Integration of culture-based and molecular analysis of a complex sponge-associated bacterial community.

Author information

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.
Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.


The bacterial communities of sponges have been studied using molecular techniques as well as culture-based techniques, but the communities described by these two methods are remarkably distinct. Culture-based methods describe communities dominated by Proteobacteria, and Actinomycetes while molecular methods describe communities dominated by predominantly uncultivated groups such as the Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, and Acidimicrobidae. In this study, we used a wide range of culture media to increase the diversity of cultivable bacteria from the closely related giant barrel sponges, Xestospongia muta collected from the Florida Keys, Atlantic Ocean and Xestospongia testudinaria, collected from Indonesia, Pacific Ocean. Over 400 pure cultures were isolated and identified from X. muta and X. testudinaria and over 90 bacterial species were represented. Over 16,000 pyrosequences were analyzed and assigned to 976 OTUs. We employed both cultured-based methods and pyrosequencing to look for patterns of overlap between the culturable and molecular communities. Only one OTU was found in both the molecular and culturable communities, revealing limitations inherent in both approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center