Thesis subject

Characterization of three novel bacterial species isolated from a marine sponge

In the framework of a large isolation campaign to hunt for bacterial symbionts of the marine sponge Aplysina aerophoba, we isolated three bacterial strains that belong to the family of Flavobacteriaceae These constitute two potentially new species and one potentially new genus that have not yet been described in literature.

Members from the family of Flavobacteriaceae are found in a wide range of habitats. They are of interest due to their ability to break down complex bioorganic molecules. In addition, members of certain species within this family have been shown to cause disease in humans, birds, fishes and other animals.


Our interest is to characterize these 3 strains according to standard procedures (Tindall et al., 2010), and to publish our findings in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM). We have also sequenced the genomes of these bacteria in order to learn more about their putative roles as sponge symbionts.


Project aims

-       Characterization of three novel bacterial isolates

-       Preparation of the data to be included in a scientific manuscript



-       Taxonomic classification

-       Bacterial cultivation

-       Morphological characterization (microscopy)

-       Bacterial physiology and biochemistry

-       Bacterial genome analysis


More information

A 6-month project for an BSc or MSc student who can work accurately and organized.


Supervisor: Dennis Versluis

Contact info:

Tel: 0317 - 483486

Laboratory of Microbiology

Microbiology building, room 0020

Duration: 5-6.5 months

Credits: 39 (max.)


Tindall, B.J., Rossello-Mora, R., Busse, H.J., Ludwig, W., and Kampfer, P. (2010) Notes on the characterization of prokaryote strains for taxonomic purposes. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 60: 249-266.