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Ecological roles of natural products from the marine sponge Geodia corticostylifera
Clavico, E.E.G.; Muricy, G.; da Gama, B.A.P.; Batista, D.; Ventura, C.R.R.; Pereira, R.C. (2006). Ecological roles of natural products from the marine sponge Geodia corticostylifera. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 148(3): 479-488.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Clavico, E.E.G.
  • Muricy, G.
  • da Gama, B.A.P.
  • Batista, D.
  • Ventura, C.R.R.
  • Pereira, R.C.

    In the Brazilian coast, high numbers of the small brittle star Ophiactis savignyi usually live associated with the sponge Geodia corticostylifera (Demospongiae, Geodidae), but not with other sympatric sponge species. In order to check whether this association was related only with the physical shelter provided by the sponge body or was chemically mediated, the crude organic extract of G. corticostylifera was added to sponge mimics made of phytagel and spongin skeleton. Control and treated mimics were simultaneously offered to previously sponge-associated O. savignyi in both static seawater and flow-through laboratory experiments. Ophiuroids were allowed to move towards the preferred mimic. The defensive properties of the sponge extract against fish predation and fouling were also evaluated. Chemotaxis assays showed that symbiotic ophiuroids were able to chemically recognize its host sponge, moving significantly more towards mimics containing G. corticostylifera extract. Chemical deterrence assays showed that the natural concentration of the extract of this sponge was also able to inhibit generalist fish predation on field experiments and the attachment of the common mussel Perna perna in laboratory assays. These results indicate that the crude extract of G. corticostylifera plays multiple functions in the marine environment, presumably being responsible for a closer association of this sponge with O. savignyi, providing protection for this ophiuroid and inhibition of epibionts on itself.

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