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Student Research Projects

Finding Antimicrobial Properties of the Yellow Boring Sponge through Crude Extractions

Student Tamera Edler, '17
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Chemistry
Course CHEM 489: Research in Natural Sciences


Marine sponges produce a unique variety of chemical compounds but the functions of these metabolites remain largely unknown. Often theses metabolites possess biological activity that could potentially contribute to the pharmaceutical world. Cliona celata is a popular sponge with bright yellow coloration and small pores that are found along the shores and coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the presence of organic compounds with antimicrobial activity in the sponge, Cliona celata collected from the eastern shore. Several different extraction methods were done to purify organic compounds from the sponge, including solvent-solvent extractions and steam distillation. The extracts were analyzed by thin layer chromatography and in bioassays against a variety of fungi and bacteria strains that were cultured in lab. None of the sponge extracts exhibited any significant bioactivity. These result did not support past results suggesting that further study and investigation on the Cliona celata is necessary and that the sponge may possess some substances with potential bioactivity, but future studies are needed.