Developing experimentally tractable models for sponge-microbe symbioses

My laboratory has a long-term commitment to develop new technologies and procedures towards developing an experimental model for sponge-microbe symbioses. In this context, we have made considerable efforts to increase access and tractability of sponge symbioses. Marine gnotobiotic biosafety S1 animal housing facilities allow experimentation in a germ-free laboratory environment. Experiments are being run (Lara Schmittmann) to determine the ideal antibiotic cocktail composition and concentration to effectively remove bacteria without causing harm to the sponges. We are further making increasingly use of sponge genomic and transcriptomic resources. Our overarching aim is to move sponge symbioses from an exploratory type of research into the arena of experimental models for host-microbe interactions.



Marulanda-Gómez A, Ribes M, Franzenburg S, Hentschel U, Pita L (2023) Transcriptomic response of Mediterranean sponges upon encounter with seawater or symbiont microbial consortia. Submitted to Genome Biology Evolution (GBE). Pre-print available at doi: 10.1101/2023.11.02.563995v1 

Marulanda-Gomez AM, Bayer K, Pita L, Hentschel U (2023) A novel in-vivo phagocytosis assay to gain cellular insights on sponge-microbe interactions. Front Mar Sci 10. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1176145

Schmittmann L, Rahn T, Busch K, Pita L, Hentschel U (2022) Stability of a dominant sponge-symbiont in spite of antibiotic-induced microbiome disturbance. Environm Microbiol First published: 17 October 2022

Schmittmann L, Jahn M, Pita L, Hentschel U (2020) Decoding cellular dialogues between sponges, bacteria and phages. In Cellular Dialogues in the Holobiont (Bosch & Hadfield, eds.) CRC Press, USA. pp. 49-63.

Pita L, Fraune S, Hentschel U (2016) Emerging sponge models of animal-microbe symbioses. Front. Microbiol. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.02102


SFB 1182/2: Origin and Function of Metaorganisms