Aquaculture of sponges on scallops for natural products research and antifouling

E Armstrong, J Douglas McKenzie, G T Goldsworthy

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Suspended culture of scallops (Pectinidae: Bivalvia) is plagued by invertebrate fouling. Scallops covered in an orange sponge (Suberites ficus ssp. rubrus), however, do not have any other invertebrates fouling their shells and the sponge is easily removed. Sponges may also be valuable sources of bioactive compounds. Seven species of sponge were found to be associated with Chlamys opercularis but none were found associated with Pecten maximus. Standing crop of sponge on the scallop farm was just over one tonne. If all the scallops were covered by sponge this would rise to approximately 4.5 tonnes (from three million scallops). Primary cell cultures of (S.f. rubrus) were successfully established but no cell lines were achieved. A number of techniques were tried for establishing cells and pieces of sponge tissue onto scallop shells but none gave satisfactory results. Likewise mechanical methods for sticking small pieces of sponge to scallop shells were deemed impractical even where they resulted in subsequent sponge growth. Improving natural settlement of sponges onto the scallops was the only economically practical method for increasing sponge yield for C. opercularis, though other methods would need to be devised for P. maximus. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology

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    Armstrong, E., McKenzie, J. D., & Goldsworthy, G. T. (1999). Aquaculture of sponges on scallops for natural products research and antifouling. J BIOTECHNOL, 70(1-3), 163-174.