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Browsing Theses & Dissertations by Subject "16S rRNA gene"
Lebrón López, Nicolle E.; Schizas, Nikolaos V.; College of Arts and Sciences - Sciences; Cruz Motta, Juan J.; Weil Machado, Ernesto F.; Department of Marine Sciences; Tavárez Vargas, Héctor S.
Actinobacteria are the most biotechnologically valuable prokaryotes and are best known as a source of diverse secondary metabolites. However, there is scarce information on marine actinobacterial diversity in the Caribbean Sea. For this study, the marine sponges Aplysina fistularis and Aplysina fulva were examined for the presence of Actinobacteria through culture-dependent methods. Sponge specimens were collected by SCUBA diving in the La Parguera Natural Reserve in Lajas, Puerto Rico. A total of 62 strains of Actinobacteria were isolated from the collected sponge samples and identified through phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene. The isolated Actinobacteria were phylogenetically allocated to 18 genera. Comparing both sponge species, A. fulva yielded more Actinobacteria isolates (39) than A. fistularis (24) and in terms of genus diversity, a higher variety of Actinobacteria was observed from A. fulva than from A. fistularis. Even though a culture-dependent approach can give us valuable insight into the sponge’s microbiome and is an important basis for the study of the compounds that are produced by Actinobacteria, this strategy is limited because it does not reveal all the Actinobacteria that may be present in a sponge since a small portion of bacteria are culturable. Moreover, a partial sequence of the 16S rRNA gene often does not contain enough phylogenetic information to provide species-level resolutions. Ecological and phylogenetic studies of marine Actinobacteria will improve our understanding of the actinobacterial diversity associated with different marine ecosystems and could lead to the discovery of useful bioactive compounds.