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ISME J. 2018 Nov;12(11):2785-2795. doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0220-z. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Endosymbiont genomes yield clues of tubeworm success.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences & Molette Biology Laboratory for Environmental and Climate Change Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36830, USA. yzl0084@auburn.edu.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, CASIC Building, Auburn, AL, 36849, USA.
3
Department of Biological Sciences & Molette Biology Laboratory for Environmental and Climate Change Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36830, USA. ken@auburn.edu.

Abstract

Forty years after discovery of chemosynthetic symbiosis in the tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, how organisms maintain their unique host-symbiont associations at the cellular level is still largely unknown. Previous studies primarily focus on symbionts associated with host lineages living in hydrothermal vents. To understand physiological adaptations and evolution in these holobiont systems in markedly different habitats, we characterized four novel siboglinid-symbiont genomes spanning deep-sea seep and sedimented environments. Our comparative analyses suggest that all sampled siboglinid chemoautotrophic symbionts, except for frenulate symbionts, can use both rTCA and Calvin cycle for carbon fixation. We hypothesize that over evolutionary time siboglinids have been able to utilize different bacterial lineages allowing greater metabolic flexibility of carbon fixation (e.g., rTCA) enabling tubeworms to thrive in more reducing habitats, such as vents and seeps. Moreover, we show that sulfur metabolism and molecular mechanisms related to initial infection are remarkably conserved across chemoautotrophic symbionts in different habitats. Unexpectedly, we find that the ability to use hydrogen, as an additional energy source, is potentially more widespread than previously recognized. Our comparative genomic results help elucidate potential mechanisms used to allow chemosynthetically dependent holobionts adapt to, and evolve in, different environments.

PMID:
30022157
PMCID:
PMC6194059
[Available on 2019-11-01]
DOI:
10.1038/s41396-018-0220-z

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