Bacterial diversity associated with the Caribbean tunicate Ecteinascidia turbinata

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2007 Aug;92(2):155-64. doi: 10.1007/s10482-007-9143-9. Epub 2007 Jan 30.


The Caribbean tunicate, Ecteinascidia turbinata produces the anti-cancer agent ET-743 that could well be a metabolite of an associated bacterial strain. This current study aims at the analysis of bacteria that are persistently and specifically associated with this invertebrate. Utilizing techniques such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of bacteria from E. turbinata collected from different locations in the Caribbean Sea, we report here the identification of five possible persistently associated bacteria. Of these, only one organism, Candidatus Endoecteinascidia frumentensis, was found specifically associated to E. turbinata from the Caribbean and has also been found to be associated with E. turbinata from the Mediterranean. These experiments suggest that assessment of bacterial diversity associated with invertebrates from different geographical sites might be an effective way of identifying persistently and specifically associated bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Caribbean Region
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Urochordata / microbiology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal

Associated data

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