Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Zool. 2000 Feb 15;286(3):280-96.

Aposymbiotic culture of the sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes: role of the symbiotic bacterium Vibrio fischeri in host animal growth, development, and light organ morphogenesis.

Author information

Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, USA.


The sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes forms a bioluminescent mutualism with the luminous bacterium Vibrio fischeri, harboring V. fischeri cells in a complex ventral light organ and using the bacterial light in predator avoidance. To characterize the contribution of V. fischeri to the growth and development of E. scolopes and to define the long-term effects of bacterial colonization on light organ morphogenesis, we developed a mariculture system for the culture of E. scolopes from hatching to adulthood, employing artificial seawater, lighting that mimicked that of the natural environment, and provision of prey sized to match the developmental stage of E. scolopes. Animals colonized by V. fischeri and animals cultured in the absence of V. fischeri (aposymbiotic) grew and survived equally well, developed similarly, and reached sexual maturity at a similar age. Development of the light organ accessory tissues (lens, reflectors, and ink sac) was similar in colonized and aposymbiotic animals with no obvious morphometric or histological differences. Colonization by V. fischeri influenced regression of the ciliated epithelial appendages (CEAs), the long-term growth of the light organ epithelial tubules, and the appearance of the cells composing the ciliated ducts, which exhibit characteristics of secretory tissue. In certain cases, aposymbiotic animals retained the CEAs in a partially regressed state and remained competent to initiate symbiosis with V. fischeri into adulthood. In other cases, the CEAs regressed fully in aposymbiotic animals, and these animals were not colonizable. The results demonstrate that V. fischeri is not required for normal growth and development of the animal or for development of the accessory light organ tissues and that morphogenesis of only those tissues coming in contact with the bacteria (CEAs, ciliated ducts, and light organ epithelium) is altered by bacterial colonization of the light organ. Therefore, V. fischeri apparently makes no major metabolic contribution to E. scolopes beyond light production, and post-embryonic development of the light organ is essentially symbiont independent. J. Exp. Zool. 286:280-296, 2000.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center