Comparison of the anaerobic microbiota of deep-water Geodia spp. and sandy sediments in the Straits of Florida

Wolfram M. Brück, Thomas B. Brück, William T. Self, John K. Reed, Sonja S. Nitecki, Peter J. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Marine sediments and sponges may show steep variations in redox potential, providing niches for both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Geodia spp. and sediment specimens from the Straits of Florida were fixed using paraformaldehyde and 95% ethanol (v/v) for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). In addition, homogenates of sponge and sediment samples were incubated anaerobically on various cysteine supplemented agars. FISH analysis showed a prominent similarity of microbiota in sediments and Geodia spp. samples. Furthermore, the presence of sulfate-reducing and annamox bacteria as well as other obligate anaerobic microorganisms in both Geodia spp. and sediment samples were also confirmed. Anaerobic cultures obtained from the homogenates allowed the isolation of a variety of facultative anaerobes, primarily Bacillus spp. and Vibrio spp. Obligate anaerobes such as Desulfovibrio spp. and Clostridium spp. were also found. We also provide the first evidence for a culturable marine member of the Chloroflexi, which may enter into symbiotic relationships with deep-water sponges such as Geodia spp. Resuspended sediment particles, may provide a source of microorganisms able to associate or form a symbiotic relationship with sponges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-699
Number of pages14
JournalISME Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic culture
  • FISH
  • Geodia spp.
  • Marine sediment


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