Table_1_First Record of Microbiomes of Sponges Collected From the Persian Gulf, Using Tag Pyrosequencing.DOCX

The Persian Gulf is a special habitat of marine sponges whose bacterial communities are under-investigated. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has comprehensively improved the knowledge of marine sponge-associated bacteria. For the first time, this study aimed to evaluate the diversity of the Persian Gulf sponge-associated bacteria using tag pyrosequencing in Iran. In this study, 10 sponge samples from 6 different taxonomic orders were collected from the Persian Gulf using SCUBA diving. The diversity of the bacteria associated with the marine sponges was investigated using the 16S rRNA gene PCR-tagged pyrosequencing method. A total of 68,628 high-quality sequences were obtained and clustered at a 97% similarity into 724 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs), representing 17 bacterial phyla. Cyanobacteria was the most abundant phylum in the sponges, followed by Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Other phyla were detected as minor groups of bacteria. Bacterial community richness, Shannon, and Simpson indices revealed the highest diversity in sponge S11 (Dictyoceratida sp.) compared to other sponges. This study showed a diverse structure of bacterial communities associated with the Persian Gulf sponges. The dominance of Cyanobacteria may suggest an ecological importance of this phylum in the Persian Gulf sponges.