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Data released on August 09, 2017

Supporting data for "The sponge microbiome project"

Ackermann, G, L; Amir, A; Astudillo-Garcia, C; Bell, J, J; Cerrano, C; Easson, C; Feng, G; Gonzalez, A; Kotoulas, G; Liu, F; McCormack, G, P; Moitinho-Silva, L; Nielsen, S; Sipkema, D; Steinert, G; Vicente, J; Bjork, J, R; Montoya, J, M; Olson, J, B; Reveillaud, J; Pineda, M; Steindler, L; Marra, M, V; Ilan, M; Taylor, M, W; Polymenakou, P; Erwin, P, M; Schupp, P, J; Simister, R, L; Knight, R; Thacker, R, W; Costa, R; Hill, R, T; Lopez-Legentil, S; Dailianis, T; Ravasi, T; Hentschel, U; Li, Z; Webster, N, S; Thomas, T (2017): Supporting data for "The sponge microbiome project" GigaScience Database. RIS BibTeX Text

Marine sponges (phylum Porifera) are a diverse, phylogenetically deep-branching clade known for forming intimate partnerships with complex communities of microorganisms. To date, 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies have largely utilised different extraction and amplification methodologies to target the microbial communities of a limited number of sponge species, severely limiting comparative analyses of sponge microbial diversity and structure. Here, we provide an extensive and standardised dataset that will facilitate sponge microbiome comparisons across large spatial, temporal and environmental scales. Samples from marine sponges (n=3569 specimens), seawater (n=370), marine sediments (n=65) and other environments (n=29) were collected from different locations across the globe. This dataset incorporates at least 269 different sponge species, including several yet unidentified taxa. The V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced from extracted DNA using standardised procedures. Raw sequences (total of 1.1 billion sequences) were processed and clustered with a) a standard protocol using QIIME closed-reference picking resulting in 39,543 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU) at 97% sequence identity, b) a de novo protocol using Mothur resulting in 518,246 OTUs, and c) a new high-resolution Deblur protocol resulting in 83,908 unique bacterial sequences. Abundance tables, representative sequences, taxonomic classifications and metadata are provided. This dataset represents a comprehensive resource of sponge-associated microbial communities based on 16S rRNA gene sequences that can be used to address overarching hypotheses regarding host-associated prokaryotes, including host-specificity, convergent evolution, environmental drivers of microbiome structure and the sponge-associated rare biosphere.

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Read the peer-reviewed publication(s):

Moitinho-Silva, L., Nielsen, S., Amir, A., Gonzalez, A., Ackermann, G. L., Cerrano, C., … Thomas, T. (2017). The sponge microbiome project. GigaScience, 6(10), 1–7. doi:10.1093/gigascience/gix077

Accessions (data included in GigaDB):

BioProject: PRJEB18736



Marine sponges Archaea Bacteria Symbiosis 16S rRNA gene 



  • Funding body - Australian Research Council
  • Award ID - FT140100197
  • Awardee - Torsten Thomas
  • Funding body - Australian Research Council
  • Award ID - FT120100480
  • Awardee - Dr NS Webster
  • Funding body - W.M. Keck Foundation
  • Awardee - Dr R Knight
  • Funding body - John Templeton Foundation
  • Awardee - Dr R Knight

Samples: Table Settings


Common Name
Scienfic Name
Sample Attributes
Taxonomic ID
Genbank Name

Sample IDTaxonomic IDCommon NameGenbank NameScientific NameSample Attributes
ZA.48.11816501163772  sponge metagenome Description:Metagenome sequences from sponge tissu...
Alternative accession-BioSample:SAMEA41160418
Alternative names:10793.ZA.48.1181650
ZA.49.11814251163772  sponge metagenome Description:Metagenome sequences from sponge tissu...
Alternative accession-BioSample:SAMEA41161168
Alternative names:10793.ZA.49.1181425
ZA.53.11819771163772  sponge metagenome Description:Metagenome sequences from sponge tissu...
Alternative accession-BioSample:SAMEA41161918
Alternative names:10793.ZA.53.1181977
Displaying 4031-4033 of 4033 Sample(s).

Files: (FTP site) Table Settings


File Description
Sample ID
Data Type
File Format
Release Date
Download Link
File Attributes

File NameSample IDData TypeFile FormatSizeRelease Date 
Textbiom36.03 MB2017-08-10
otherUNKNOWN50.97 MB2017-07-30
Tabular DataUNKNOWN29.02 MB2017-07-30
Tabular DataUNKNOWN29.82 MB2017-07-30
Genome sequenceFASTA12.36 MB2017-07-30
HTMLHTML7.64 MB2017-07-30
Phylogenetic treeUNKNOWN2.42 MB2017-07-30
Textbiom27.25 MB2017-07-30
ReadmeTEXT3.95 KB2017-07-30
Tabular DataTSV1.7 MB2017-07-30
Displaying 1-10 of 11 File(s).



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