Marine sponges are acknowledged as bacterial hotspots in the oceanic biome. Aquatic bacteria are being investigated comprehensively for bioactive complexes and secondary metabolites. Cultivable bacteria associated with different species of sea sponges in South China Sea waters adjacent to Bidong Island, Terengganu were identified. Molecular identification was accomplished using 16S rRNA gene cloning and sequencing. Fourteen bacterial species were identified and their phylogenetic relationships were analysed by constructing a neighbour-joining tree with Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis 6. The identified species encompassed four bacterial classes that were Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria known to have been associated with sponges. The potential biotechnological applications of the identified bacteria were compared and reviewed based on relevant past studies. The biotechnological functions of the 14 cultivable isolates have been previously reported, hence reinforcing that bacteria associated with sponges are an abundant resource of scientifically essential compounds. Resilience of psychrotolerant bacteria, Psychrobacter celer, in warm tropical waters holds notable prospects for future research.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.