Main content area

Possible Taxonomic Trends in the Success of Primary Aggregate Formation in Marine Sponge Cell Cultures

Holmes, Bradley, Blanch, Harvey
Marine biotechnology 2008 v.10 no.1 pp. 99-109
Demospongiae, biomass, cell culture, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA
A large number of novel compounds with significant medical potential have been isolated from sponges, motivating efforts to develop techniques for the sustainable cultivation of sponge biomass. To date, 33 sponges from nine different orders have been examined to assess their ability to be cultured in vitro. However, little consideration has been given to the relationships between these sponges; only one report has considering the phylogenetic relationships between the species. On the basis of morphological data, no taxonomic specificity was apparent as an indicator for the successful cultivation of the sponges. As the systematic classification of the Demospongiae is poorly understood, we collated available information on the success of in vitro sponge cell cultivation reports and examined the phylogenetic relationships of these sponges through the use of 18S and 28S rDNA sequence data. Based on molecular data, the ability of sponges to form primary aggregates from the dissociated cells of marine demosponges indicates that taxonomic trends may exist, emphasizing the need to better characterize sponges being investigated for biotechnological applications.