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Departmental Seminars

Fall Semester 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

12:00 - 12:50 pm in RITA 103

New perspectives on an ancient association: microbial symbionts and coral reef sponges

Christopher Freeman, Department of Biology, College of Charleston

Sponges are prolific filter feeders, but their success across reefs in the Caribbean may also be linked to complex associations with microbial symbionts. Using manipulative field experiments, stable isotope analysis, and the characterization of sponge microbiomes, I am investigating how these associations influence host resource use. Recent work has shown that microbial symbionts allow sponges to exploit new sources of carbon and nitrogen on these reefs. In addition, results show a high degree of host specificity in these
microbial symbiont communities.  This talk will highlight how these symbionts benefit their hosts, how this benefit varies across sponge species, and the role that these symbioses may be playing in the success of sponges within the Caribbean.



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