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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 10, 1995; 92(21): 9598–9602.
PMCID: PMC40849

Intracellular coexistence of methano- and thioautotrophic bacteria in a hydrothermal vent mussel.

Abstract

The coexistence of two phylogenetically distinct symbiont species within a single cell, a condition not previously known in any metazoan, is demonstrated in the gills of a Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vent mussel (family Mytilidae). Large and small symbiont morphotypes within the gill bacteriocytes are shown to be separate bacterial species by molecular phylogenetic analysis and fluorescent in situ hybridization. The two symbiont species are affiliated with thioautotrophic and methanotrophic symbionts previously found in monospecific associations with closely related mytilids from deep-sea hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps.

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Selected References

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