Halmos College Alumna and Research Scientists Find a “Core” Sponge Specific Microbiome
Sponges occur across diverse marine biomes and host internal microbial communities that can provide critical ecological functions. In this study, genetics researchers investigated the relative roles of host population genetics and biogeography in structuring the microbial communities hosted by the excavating sponge Cliona delitrix. In general sponges host many different microbial species and filter seawater as part of their lifestyle.
This resulted in a publication by former Halmos College researcher Cole Easson, Ph.D. and Halmos College alumna Andia Chaves-Fonnegra, Ph.D. for a project they worked on while in the research laboratory of Halmos biology faculty, Jose Lopez, Ph.D. The paper, published in Ecology and Evolution is entitled, “Host population genetics and biogeography structure the microbiome of the sponge Cliona delitrix”
“The bottom line”, says Lopez, “is that there appears to be a “core” sponge specific microbiome, but they may not be the most common in the sponge, and yet they appear across the whole Caribbean.”
Citation: Easson, C. G., Chaves-Fonnegra, A., Thacker, R. W., & Lopez, J. V. Host population genetics and biogeography structure the microbiome of the sponge Cliona delitrix. Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6033