Steinert, Georg; Busch, Kathrin; Bayer, Kristina; Khodami, Sahar; Martinez Arbizu, Pedro; Kelly, Michelle; Mills, Sadie; Erpenbeck, Dirk; Dohrmann, Martin, Wörheide, G; Hentschel, Ute; Schupp, Peter J (2020). Frontiers in Microbiology https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00716.
In the present study, we profiled bacterial and archaeal communities from 13 phylogenetically diverse deep-sea sponge species (Demospongiae and Hexactinellida) from the South Pacific by 16S rRNA-gene amplicon sequencing. Additionally, the associated bacteria and archaea were quantified by real-time qPCR. Our results show that bacterial communities from the deep-sea sponges are mostly host-species specific similar to what has been observed for shallow-water demosponges. The archaeal deep-sea sponge community structures are different from the bacterial community structures in that they are almost completely dominated by a single family, which are the ammonia-oxidizing genera within the Nitrosopumilaceae. Remarkably, the archaeal communities are mostly specific to individual sponges (rather than sponge-species), and this observation applies to both hexactinellids and demosponges. Finally, archaeal 16s gene numbers, as detected by quantitative real-time PCR, were up to three orders of magnitude higher than in shallow-water sponges, highlighting the importance of the archaea for deep-sea sponges in general.