Novel forms of structural integration between microbes and a hydrothermal vent gastropod from the Indian Ocean.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Here we describe novel forms of structural integration between endo- and episymbiotic microbes and an unusual new species of snail from hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean. The snail houses a dense population of gamma-proteobacteria within the cells of its greatly enlarged esophageal gland. This tissue setting differs from that of all other vent mollusks, which harbor sulfur-oxidizing endosymbionts in their gills. The significantly reduced digestive tract, the isotopic signatures of the snail tissues, and the presence of internal bacteria suggest a dependence on chemoautotrophy for nutrition. Most notably, this snail is unique in having a dense coat of mineralized scales covering the sides of its foot, a feature seen in no other living metazoan. The scales are coated with iron sulfides (pyrite and greigite) and heavily colonized by epsilon- and delta-proteobacteria, likely participating in mineralization of the sclerites. This novel metazoan-microbial collaboration illustrates the great potential of organismal adaptation in chemically and physically challenging deep-sea environments.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Goffredi, SK; Warén, A; Orphan, VJ; Van Dover, CL; Vrijenhoek, RC

Published Date

  • May 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 70 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 3082 - 3090

PubMed ID

  • 15128570

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC404406

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-5336

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0099-2240

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1128/aem.70.5.3082-3090.2004


  • eng