Presence of Aspergillus sydowii, a pathogen of gorgonian sea fans in the marine sponge Spongia obscura

Neta Ein-Gil, Micha Ilan, Shmuel Carmeli, Garriet W. Smith, Joseph R. Pawlik, Oded Yarden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The fungus Aspergillus sydowii is the causative agent of epidemics that affect gorgonian corals (sea fans) and has significantly affected their populations in the Caribbean Sea. We have isolated a strain of A. sydowii from healthy marine sponges (Spongia obscura) collected in Bahamian inshore waters. After its identification on the basis of morphology, molecular markers and chemical profiling followed by pathogenicity tests, we found this strain to be highly similar to a strain isolated from diseased coral, and have shown the capacity of this fungus to persist in sponge environment. Our findings suggest that sponges have the possibility of being reservoirs of a potential marine pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-755
Number of pages4
JournalISME Journal
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Funding

FundersFunder number
Biological Oceanography ProgramOCE-0095724, 0550468
US–Israel Binational Science FoundationBSF 200-321
National Science Foundation
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Chemical ecology
    • Gorgonia ventalina
    • Spongia obscura

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