Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Johanna Gutleben

Date: 21 November 2019
Time: 11:00 - 12:30
Location: Aula, building 362, Gen. Foulkesweg 1, Wageningen

Dissertation title: 

Ecological and biotechnical aspects of Aplysina-associated microorganisms

Group: Wageningen University, Microbiology
Promotor: Prof.dr. H. Smidt and R.H. Wijffels
Co-promotor: D. Sipkema

Extra information:


This thesis had the goal to increase our understanding of marine sponge microbial ecology by integrating both cultivation-dependent and –independent approaches. Chapter 1 introduced the sponge, the importance of these animals and summarized the current knowledge on functional aspects of sponge-associated microbiomes. In Chapter 2, six Aplysina species were screened for flavin-dependent tryptophan halogenase sequence variants as well as the composition and structure of their bacterial communities. . In Chapter 3, we investigated the global diversity and phylogenetic distribution of poribacteria among different sponge hosts. Chapter 4 describes several approaches to increase the cultivability of bacteria associated to the sponge Aplysina aerophoba. Chapter 5 reviewed ground-breaking studies that translated information derived from multi-omics into successful isolation strategies for previously unculturable microorganisms. Chapter 6 integrated the findings from the previous chapters and portrayed them in the light of recent work from within the field of sponge microbiology and ecology.