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Appl Environ Microbiol. May 1997; 63(5): 1721–1724.
PMCID: PMC168468

Subcuticular bacteria from the brittle star Ophiactis balli (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) represent a new lineage of extracellular marine symbionts in the alpha subdivision of the class Proteobacteria.


Many species of echinoderms, in all five extant classes, contain subcuticular bacterial symbionts (SCB). The role of these extracellular symbionts and the nature of the relationship remain unclear. We have sequenced 16S rRNA genes from symbionts to determine their phylogenetic affinities. Symbionts of an ophiuroid, Ophiactis balli, appear closely related to bacteria within the alpha group of the class Proteobacteria, including intracellular endosymbionts and pathogens. SCB are clearly of separate origin from other documented major groups of marine symbiotic bacteria.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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