De Freitas, M. A.; Cunha-Ferreira, I. C.; Leal, C. V.; Fernandez, J. C.; Omachi, C. Y.; Campos, L. S.; Masi, B. P.; Krüger, R. H.; Hajdu, E.; Thompson, C. C.; Thompson, F. L. (2023). Microbiome diversity from sponges biogeographically distributed between South America and Antarctica. Science of The Total Environment. 163256.
Sponges from South America and Antarctica are evolutionarily closely related. Specific symbiont signatures that could differentiate these two geographic regions are unknown. This study aimed to investigate the microbiome diversity of sponges from South America and Antarctica. In total 71 sponge specimens were analyzed (Antarctica: N=59, 13 different species; SouthAmerica: N=12, 6 different species). Illumina 16S rRNAsequences were generated (2.88 million sequences; 40K±29K/sample). The most abundant symbionts were heterotrophic (94.8 %) and belonged mainly to Proteobacteria and Bacteroidota. EC94 was the most abundant symbiont and dominated the microbiome of some species (70–87 %), comprising at least 10 phylogroups. Each of the EC94 phylogroups was specific to one genus or species of sponge. Furthermore, South America sponges had higher abundance of photosynthetic microorganisms (2.3 %) and sponges from Antarctica, the highest abundance of chemosynthetic (5.5 %). Sponge symbionts may contribute to the function of their hosts. The unique features from each of these two regions (e.g., light, temperature, and nutrients) possibly stimulate distinct microbiome diversity from sponges biogeographically distributed across continents.