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Microb Ecol. 2002 Jul;44(1):10-8. Epub 2002 May 20.

Host-symbiont recognition in the environmentally transmitted sepiolid squid-Vibrio mutualism.

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Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Box 30001, MSC 3AF, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8001, USA.


Associations between environmentally transmitted symbionts and their hosts provide a unique opportunity to study the evolution of specificity and subsequent radiation of tightly coupled host-symbiont assemblages [3, 8, 24]. The evidence provided here from the environmentally transmitted bacterial symbiont Vibrio fischeri and its sepiolid squid host (Sepiolidae: Euprymna) demonstrates how host-symbiont specificity can still evolve without vertical transmission of the symbiont [1]. Infection by intraspecific V. fischeri symbionts exhibited preferential colonization over interspecific V. fischeri symbionts, indicating a high degree of specificity for the native symbiotic strains. Inoculation with symbiotic bacteria from other taxa (monocentrid fish and loliginid squids) produced little or no colonization in two species of Euprymna, despite their presence in the same or similar habitats as these squids. These findings of host specificity between native Vibrios and sepiolid squids provides evidence that the presence of multiple strains of symbionts does not dictate the composition of bacterial symbionts in the host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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