ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2006, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 207–213. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2006.
Original Russian Text © M.V. Pivkin, S.A. Aleshko, V.B. Krasokhin, Yu.V. Khudyakova, 2006, published in Biologiya Morya.
Sponges play an important role in marine ecosys-
tems. They are typical inhabitants of marine and fresh
waters, predominant in many benthic communities.
Phylogenetically, the sponges occupy an intermediate
position between unicellular and multicellular animals
because of the body structure and physiology [10, 14].
These organisms provide a favorable habitat to asso-
ciants, as well as extracellular and intracellular sym-
bionts. Among the sponge symbionts, heterotrophic
bacteria and cyanobacteria are fairly well studied .
Very little is known about fungi from the sponges. The
ﬁrst record of mycelial structures within the sponge
body refers to the middle of the nineteenth century ;
however, information about the species diversity 
and numbers of fungi from sponges  appeared only
at the boundary of the twentieth and twenty-ﬁrst centu-
ries. Before these publications, only one species of
fungi associate with sponges was known—
Kohlm. et Volkm.–Kohlm. . Recently,
considerable attention has been given to the study of the
chemical structure of metabolites of these fungi .
There is neither ecological data on fungi from sponges,
nor information about their species richness and biodi-
versity in the Russian seas. The aim of the present
research was to explore the ecological and taxonomical
diversity of fungi associated with sponges from the
southern coast of Sakhalin Island.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The diversity of fungi associated with sponges was
examined in the following species of marine sponges of
the class Demospongiae:
(Miklucho-Maclay, 1970), and
(Johnston, 1842). Sponges were collected by dredging
at ten stations on the southern coast of Sakhalin Island
(Fig. 1). Sponge samples (three specimens of each spe-
cies) were placed in sterile polyethylene bags, frozen,
and kept at –5
C . Fungi were separated under sterile
conditions. Before plating, sponges were washed
5 times with sterile seawater, then cut into pieces about
, weighed, and placed in Petri dishes containing
a seawater wort agar medium. After sterilization of the
medium, 500000 units of penicillin and 0.5 g of strep-
tomycin were added per liter of medium . Each fun-
gal colony that has grown from the sponge was placed
in tubes with a modiﬁed slant medium of Tubaki [4,
The number of fungal propagules was estimated per
gram of sponge body. The ecological diversity of fungi
from each species of sponge was estimated using Shan-
non’s index; dominance was assessed using the index of
Berger–Parker. The similarity of fungal assemblages
from the various species of sponge was determined
from abundance estimates using the quantitative mea-
sure of Sörensen . The signiﬁcance of differences for
the diversity index of Shannon and for the number of
fungal propagules in fungi was determined using the
variance analysis. The relations between biodiversity
index, fungal numbers, and species identity of sponges
were found by means of correlation analysis .
The production of low molecular weight secondary
metabolites in 229 strains of fungi associated with
sponges was estimated from the activity of chloroform–
methanol (2 : 1) extracts from cultures grown on the liq-
uid medium of wort agar and seawater . Antibacte-
rial activity was determined by the method of agar dif-
fusion in the following test cultures:
Fungal Assemblages Associated with Sponges
of the Southern Coast of Sakhalin Island
M. V. Pivkin
, S. A. Aleshko
, V. B. Krasokhin
, and Yu. V. Khudyakova
Paciﬁc Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok 690022, Russia
Paciﬁc Fisheries Research Center, Vladivostok 690950, Russia
Received November 15, 2005
—This paper examines the biodiversity of fungi associated with six species of sponges from the south-
ern coast of Sakhalin Island. The species richness of fungal assemblages is represented by 78 species, mainly
Anamorphic fungi. The diversity and numbers of fungi depend on the species of sponge, which is due to the
rigidity of the skeleton and the morphological characteristics of the sponges.
Fungi, sponges, biodiversity, species composition, numbers.