Symbiont-driven sulfur crystal formation in a thiotrophic symbiosis from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps.
Bottom Line: This suggests that their formation is either extra- or intracellular in symbionts.We propose that formation of these crystals provides both energy-storage compounds for the symbionts and serves the symbiosis by removing excess toxic sulfide from host tissues.This symbiont-mediated sulfide detoxification may have been crucial for the establishment of thiotrophic symbiosis and continues to remain an important function of the symbionts.
Affiliation: Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: The S. contortum symbiont sequences formed a stable clade with the endosymbiont of the vestimentiferan Escarpia spicata (98.5% similarity) from a Guaymas Basin vent and an uncultured bacterium (98% similarity) associated with tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp. from cold seeps of the Mediterranean Sea (Fig. 1). Double FISH with a symbiont-specific oligonucleotide probe and general probes specific for most Bacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, respectively, confirmed the exclusive presence of the single symbiont 16S rRNA phylotype within the trophosome of four animals from two different locations (WR 269, AC 818) (Supporting information) (Fig. 2). The presence of the functional genes cbbM and aprA studied in the endosymbiont of the mud volcano population (Lösekann et al., 2008) indicate that this symbiont, like the symbiont of E. spicata, is a sulfur-oxidizing autotroph (Nelson and Fisher, 1995).
Affiliation: Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria.