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Phylogenetic and functional characterization of microbial communities associated with sponges that present bromopyrrole alkaloids and characterization of gene clusters which include nonribossomal peptide synthetase (NRPS)

Grant number: 14/17616-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Roberto Gomes de Souza Berlinck
Grantee:Cintia Paula Jandre Rua
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/50228-8 - Biodiversity components, and their metabolic characters, of Brazilian Islands: an integrated approach, AP.BTA.TEM


Sponges are evolutionarily successful marine invertebrates that arose in the Precambrian and currently dominate many aquatic ecosystems. They house a complex microbial community which is responsible for the synthesis of a wide range of structurally diverse and biologically active compounds, among which are bromopyrrole alkaloids. Bromopyrrole alkaloids are very important bioactive metabolites in sponges and are particularly abundant in the genus Agelas (Porifera: Demospongiae: Agelasida). Recently bromopyrrole alkaloids were found in the marine sponge, Tedania brasiliensis (Porifera: Demospongiae: Poecilosclerida) endemic to Brazil. Bromopyrole derivatives display anti-malarial, anti-parasitic, anti-cancer activities and act as sponge defenses against fish predation. Since metagenomic studies on sponge-associated microbial diversity show little correlation between host phylogeny and microbiota composition and, on the other hand, metabolic studies indicate functional equivalence in core functions, raising the hypothesis that chemically similar sponges have similar microbial composition, in this project we propose, for the first time and with a novel strategy, to verify by metagenomics the phylogenetic and functional microbial composition of sponges of the genera Agelas and Tedania from the Brazilian coastline and characterize gene clusters that include Nonribossomal Peptide Synthetase (NRPS) which are possibly involved in the biosynthesis of bromopyrrole alkaloids. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RUA, CINTIA P. J.; DE OLIVEIRA, LOUISI S.; FROES, ADRIANA; TSCHOEKE, DIOGO A.; SOARES, ANA CAROLINA; LEOMIL, LUCIANA; GREGORACCI, GUSTAVO B.; COUTINHO, RICARDO; HAJDU, EDUARDO; THOMPSON, CRISTIANE C.; et al. Microbial and Functional Biodiversity Patterns in Sponges that Accumulate Bromopyrrole Alkaloids Suggest Horizontal Gene Transfer of Halogenase Genes. MICROBIAL ECOLOGY, v. 76, n. 3, p. 825-838, . (14/17616-7, 13/50228-8)

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