Progress towards cell cultures from a marine sponge that produces bioactive compounds

Micha Ilan, Hava Contini, Shmuel Carmeli, Baruch Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The feasibility of initiating cell cultures from the tropical sponge, Latrunculia magnifica, was evaluated by testing sponge collection procedures, four different dissociation approaches, the procedures for contamination control, and the quality of two commercial media. This sponge is of pharmaceutical interest because of the production of very potent bioactive metabolites. We found that holding the sponge fragments at 0-4°C (up to four days) before tissue dissociation improved the quality of primary cultures. Using the mechanical dissociation of sponge fragments from which the cortex layer was removed was found to be superior to all other procedures tested. Diluted media significantly reduced bacterial contamination. Primary cultures were kept for more than six months. During this period all cultures were taken over by thraustochytrid cells, a group of eukaryotic heterotrophic protists, very common in the marine environment. Although we do not yet have established cell cultures from L. magnifica, the above results clearly indicate that this approach is feasible, after solving the difficulties that are common to all other marine invertebrate cell cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-149
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Marine Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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