Monday, April 26, 2010

An Orange Demiosponge, Hymeniacidon perleve

Hymenacidon perleve

Hymenacidon perleve is a Demiosponge of the family Halicondridae commonly seen in the intertidal areas of Irish shores. As a species, it has been recorded in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean as well as the Southern coast of Africa. It is a very conspicuous sponge, being a vibrant orange colour.

It has recently been mined as a source of new actinobacteria, which have the potential to provide novel bioactive compounds, such as antibiotics. Actinobacteria produce over half of the bioactive compounds in the Antibiotic Literature Database (Lazzarini et al., 2001 Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 79 pp. 399-405). Zhang et al. (2006, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 90 pp 159–169) report on the isolation of 106 actinobacteria from H. perleve from the China Sea. 74% of the isolates were Streptomyces spp. and three strains isolated are candidates for new species.

H. perleve has also shown remarkable ability to remove pathogenic bacteria from ambient water. Sponges filter the water passing through them and feed off the subsequent filtrate. Due to this feeding mechanism, sponges have shown a high capacity to reduce microbial pollution associated with faecal contamination (Claus et al., 1967 Nature 216 pp. 712–714), a common problem in aquaculture systems. H. perleve has been used to control bacterial levels in turbot water systems (Zhang et al., 2008 Journal of Biotechnology, 136, pp. S685). Fu et al. (2008, Journal of Biotechnology pp. S548–S557) has even shown with work on a non infectious Escherichia coli and infectious Vibrio spp. that infectious bacteria can be discriminated by 14-3-3 gene expression of H. perleve.

Hymeniacidon perleve

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