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Bacterial symbionts in pogonophora

Bacterial symbionts in pogonophora

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 62(4): 889-906

Prokaryote organisms, with characteristics of gram-negative bacteria, occur intracellularly in Pogonophora, as described here for 7 small species [Siboglinum ekmani, S. fiordicum, S. atlanticum, S. angustum, Sclerolinum brattstromi, Oligobrachia gracilis and Diplobrachia cappillaris]. The tissue containing the bacteria lies between the 2 longitudinal blood vessels in the posterior part of the trunk and has a special blood supply. This tissue is probably homologous with the so-called trophosome tissue of the much larger vestimentiferan pogonophores, which also contains bacteria, and the term can be applied to all pogonophores. The presence of such bacteria-containing trophosome tissue may be a characteristic of the phylum. In both large and small species examined the bacteria appear to be chemoautotrophs and probably assist the nutrition and/or metabolism of their hosts. It is not yet certain if the bacterium-containing cells do originate from mesoderm or endoderm, but, if the latter, then the trophosome represents the remains of the missing gut. The trophosome tissue is situated internally, and transfer of bacteria must take place early in the life history, in the egg or embryo.

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Accession: 004808896

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DOI: 10.1017/s0025315400070417

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