Bacterial diversity in wild tropical marine sponges from waters off Terengganu, southwestern South China Sea

Published: 26 May 2020| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/zrcks5s8xp.3
Tan Suet May Amelia


This dataset consists of raw sequencing data (fasta) and analysed relative abundance data (histograms of the dominant 10 species in respective taxonomic ranks ). This project shows the first bacterial diversity profiling of high-microbial-abundance wild tropical marine sponges of southern South China Sea, which are Aaptos aaptos and Xestospongia muta from Bidong and Redang islands, Malaysia. Marine sponges are acknowledged as a bacterial hotspot and resource of novel natural products or genetic material. However, sponge-associated bacteria are difficult to be cultivated and the production of their desirable metabolites are inadequate in terms of rate and quantity, yet bioinformatics and metagenomics tools are progressing. Therefore, the diversity profiling of bacterial communities in marine sponges reveals the approximate gene pool for the gene mining or isolation of bacteria that are potentially and commercially beneficial in manufacturing industry, medicine, or agriculture. The bacterial community data exploited from this project is useful for critical comparison through additional or integrated bioinformatics processing with other marine sponge-associated bacterial community profile data. The community data of this project also unveils some general physiological function of the sponge-associated bacterial assemblage in its local environment. In the data provided, the sponge-associated bacterial communities in A. aaptos of Pulau Bidong, A. aaptos of Pulau Redang, and X. muta of Pulau Bidong have been denoted by A, B, and M, respectively.


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The extracted sponge bacterial metagenomes were subjected to 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Initially, the specific primers 341F and 806R were utilised in the amplification of the 16S rRNA genes of V3 and V4 regions. The said PCR amplifications were executed with the use of Phusion® High-Fidelity PCR Master Mix (New England Biolabs). Then, the qualification and quantification of the PCR products were performed. Followingly, agarose gel electrophoresis was carried out for the detection and viewing of nucleic acids. Subsequently, the samples with intense bands within 400 bp to 450 bp were subjected to following experiments. Next, the PCR products were combined in equidensity ratios. Thereafter, the mixed PCR products were purified using Qiagen Gel Extraction Kit (Qiagen, Germany). Afterwards, sequencing libraries were constructed using NEBNext® Ultra™ DNA Library Pre Kit for Illumina according to the manufacturer's recommendations, after which the index codes were added.


Universiti Malaysia Terengganu


Environmental Science, Aquatic Microbiology