Study of changes in microbiomes of sponges Lubomirskia baicalensis using the cell culture of primmorphs

  • Chernogor L.I. 1
  • Petrushin I.S. 1, 2
  • Khanaev I.V. 1
  • Novolodskaya N.V. 1, 2
  • Makarova Y.A. 2
  • Belikov S.I. 1
  • 1 Limnological institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya Str., 3 Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
    2 Irkutsk State University, Karl Marx St, 1 Irkutsk, 664003, Russia
Keywords: Lubomirskia baicalensis, cell culture of primmorphs, symbionts, pathogen


Baikal freshwater sponges live in symbiosis with various species of eukaryotes and prokaryotes, including diverse chlorophyll-containing microalgae. Within the last years, there has been an increase in the detection of diseased and dead Baikal sponges. The etiology and ecology of these events remain unknown. The main aim of this work was to test the use of primmorph (L. baicalensis) cell cultures as a tool for investigating the microbiomes of sponges. We found that the microbiome community of healthy sponge and primmorphs formed a group separate from the community of diseased sponges and infected primmorphs. This confirms the suitability of the primmorphs cell culture as a model sponge system. Mass mortality of green symbionts (Chlorophyta) and a shift in the microbial communities of sponges/primmorphs have been discovered. By using primmorphs cell culture, it was possible to identify potential opportunistic bacteria that can work together, potentially enhancing their pathogenic action. The primmorphs system described here is a powerful model system for studying basic mechanisms of sponge disease development.