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Science. 2014 Jan 31;343(6170):529-33. doi: 10.1126/science.1246794. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

Marine tubeworm metamorphosis induced by arrays of bacterial phage tail-like structures.

Author information

1
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

Many benthic marine animal populations are established and maintained by free-swimming larvae that recognize cues from surface-bound bacteria to settle and metamorphose. Larvae of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans, an important biofouling agent, require contact with surface-bound bacteria to undergo metamorphosis; however, the mechanisms that underpin this microbially mediated developmental transition have been enigmatic. Here, we show that a marine bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea, produces arrays of phage tail-like structures that trigger metamorphosis of H. elegans. These arrays comprise about 100 contractile structures with outward-facing baseplates, linked by tail fibers and a dynamic hexagonal net. Not only do these arrays suggest a novel form of bacterium-animal interaction, they provide an entry point to understanding how marine biofilms can trigger animal development.

PMID:
24407482
PMCID:
PMC4949041
DOI:
10.1126/science.1246794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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