MICROBIAL SYMBIONTS IN MARINE SPONGES: Marine natural product factory

Agus Sabdono


Marine sponges (phylum Porifera) are among the oldest multicellular animals (metazoans), the sea’s
most prolific producers of bioactive metabolites, and of considerable ecological importance due to their
abundance and ability to filter enormous volumes of seawater. In addition to these important attributes,
sponge microbiology is now a rapidly expanding field. Marine sponges produce numerous bioactive
compounds with promising pharmaceutical properties. Sponges are well known to harbor diverse
microbes and represent a significant source of bioactive natural compounds derived from the marine
environment. Recent studies of the microbial communities of marine sponges have uncovered previously
undescribed species and an array of new chemical compounds. Microbial symbionts in marine sponges
offer potential sources of marine natural products and serve as marine natural product factory that
supplies bioactive compounds in a sustainable way.


microbial symbionts, sponge, natural product, factory

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