Transcriptomics along a sponge life cycle
The main objective of this thesis was to study the biology, ecology and gene expression of the Mediterranean sponge Crella elegans along its life
cycle. This served a variety of purposes: 1) to provide additional knowledge on sponge reproduction with emphasis on the order Poecilosclerida, 2) to describe the life cycle of Crella elegans and its reproductive elements, 3) to optimize NGS techniques in poriferans, 4) to generate and characterize the first encrusting sponge transcriptome and 5) to provide the first overview of some physiologic processes along the life cycle of a sponge.
This thesis was conceived as a four-chapter document. Even though each chapter was written as an independent unit, all of them are tightly interconnected. Therefore, each chapter includes its own introduction, materials and methods, results, and discussion, and may occasionally contain cross-references to other chapters.