A bacterial infection was found associated with two species of Antarctic sponges while conducting a survey of the benthic community at Cape Armitage. This infection was not observed in the first year of the survey and appeared to be spreading in the second season of the survey because infected sponges were found at all dive locations. An exercise was designed to examine the virulence of the bacterium and to test whether the species concerned could manufacture defensive chemicals against the infection. Infected sponges were sampled and their tissue frozen for analysis. An experiment was designed where small discs of bacterially infected sponge were placed on unaffected sponges. These individuals were then sampled one week later to determine if transfer of the infection occurred.
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