Importance Of Marine Invertebrates

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Microbial associations with marine invertebrates Marine bacteria can have a large impact on other marine organisms throughout their lifecycle. Marine invertebrates may comprise more than 30% of all animal species and are commonly associated with distinct microbial communities (Otero-Gonz├íles et al., 2010). Bacteria, archaea and single-celled eukaryotes may act as larval settlement cues, symbionts or pathogens to a range of marine invertebrate phyla. Bacteria quickly colonize available surfaces and form biofilms (Huang et al., 2007). Marine bacteria transition from planktonic organisms to members of a firmly attached benthic community. Biofilms play an important role in many marine invertebrate lifecycles that similarly transition from a planktonic to sessile benthic phase. The larvae of marine invertebrates like sponges and polychaetes settle in response to chemical cues from biofilms. Hydroides elegans is a model organism for biofilm-induced settlement as an important part of the biofouling community (Hadfield, 2011). Observation of H. …show more content…
Other microorganisms may help defend the sponge with secondary metabolites or processes. Various beta- and gammaproeobacteria are responsible for denitrification in the sponge Geodia barrette. (Webster and Taylor, 2012). Additionally, a pure culture of an ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in the phylum Crenarchaeota was isolated from a sponge. This culture confirmed predictions of chemoautotrophic ammonia oxidation by archaea from earlier genomic studies (Steger et al., 2008). This phylum is commonly associated with marine sponges. Marine sponges display nitrification, but the accumulation of ammonia as a metabolic waste negatively affects sponge health. AOA can metabolize these waste products, leading to a mutualistic relationship between AOA and marine sponges (Steger et al.,

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