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Dark CO2 fixation into phospholipid-derived fatty acids by the cold-water coral associated sponge Hymedesmia (Stylopus) coriacea (Tisler Reef, NE Skagerrak)
van Duyl, F.C.; Lengger, S.K.; Schouten, S.; Lundälv, T.; van Oevelen, D.; Müller, C.E. (2020). Dark CO2 fixation into phospholipid-derived fatty acids by the cold-water coral associated sponge Hymedesmia (Stylopus) coriacea (Tisler Reef, NE Skagerrak). Mar. Biol. Res. Early view: 1-17. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451000.2019.1704019
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000; e-ISSN 1745-1019, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • van Duyl, F.C., meer
  • Lengger, S.K.
  • Schouten, S., meer
  • Lundälv, T.
  • van Oevelen, D., meer
  • Müller, C.E.

Abstract
    Many cold-water sponges harbour microorganisms of which the role in the sponge host remains enigmatic. Here, we show a transfer of fixed inorganic carbon by sponge-associated microbes to its host, the cold-water coral encrusting sponge Hymedesmia (Stylopus) coriacea. Sponge were collected at approx. 100 m depth and incubated for 1.5–2.5 days with 13C labelled dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) as tracer. Total DIC fixation rates ranged from 0.03–0.11 mmol C × mmol C(sub>sponge × d−1. 13C-tracer was recovered in bacterial-specific (i.e. short and branched) and sponge-specific (very long-chained) phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFA's), but was not incorporated into archaeal lipids. 13C-incorporation in biomarkers such as C16:1w7c and C18:1w7c indicated that nitrifying and/or sulphur-oxidizing bacteria (chemoautotrophs) were likely active in the sponge. Trophic transfer of microbially-fixed carbon to the sponge host was confirmed by recovery of label in very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA's) including C26:2 and C26:3. Tracer accumulation into several VLCFA's continued after removal of 13C-DIC, while tracer in most bacteria-specific PLFA's declined, indicating a transfer and elongation of bacterial-specific PLFA's to sponge-specific PLFA's. This implies that PLFA precursors released from chemo- as well as heterotrophic microbes in sponges contributed to the synthesis of VLCFA's, identifying sponge-associated bacteria as symbionts of the sponge.

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