Endosymbioses between bacteria and deep-sea siboglinid tubeworms from an Arctic Cold Seep (Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano, Barents Sea)

Tina Lösekann, Alberto Robador, Helge Niemann, Katrin Knittel, Antje Boetius, Nicole Dubilier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

Siboglinid tubeworms do not have a mouth or gut and live in obligate associations with bacterial endosymbionts. Little is currently known about the phylogeny of frenulate and moniliferan siboglinids and their symbionts. In this study, we investigated the symbioses of two co-occurring siboglinid species from a methane emitting mud volcano in the Arctic Ocean (Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano, HMMV): Oligobrachia haakonmosbiensis (Frenulata) and Sclerolinum contortum (Monilifera). Comparative sequence analysis of the host-specific 18S and the symbiont-specific 16S rRNA genes of S. contortum showed that the close phylogenetic relationship of this host to vestimentiferan siboglinids was mirrored in the close relationship of its symbionts to the sulfur-oxidizing gammaproteobacterial symbionts of vestimentiferans. A similar congruence between host and symbiont phylogeny was observed in O. haakonmosbiensis: both this host and its symbionts were most closely related to the frenulate siboglinid O. mashikoi and its gammaproteobacterial symbiont. The symbiont sequences from O. haakonmosbiensis and O. mashikoi formed a clade unaffiliated with known methane- or sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Fluorescence in situ hybridization indicated that the dominant bacterial phylotypes originated from endosymbionts residing inside the host trophosome. In both S. contortum and O. haakonmosbiensis, characteristic genes for autotrophy (cbbLM) and sulfur oxidation (aprA) were present, while genes diagnostic for methanotrophy were not detected. The molecular data suggest that both HMMV tubeworm species harbour chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing symbionts. In S. contortum, average stable carbon isotope values of fatty acids and cholesterol of -43‰ were highly negative for a sulfur oxidizing symbiosis, but can be explained by a 13C-depleted CO2 source at HMMV. In O. haakonmosbiensis, stable carbon isotope values of fatty acids and cholesterol of -70‰ are difficult to reconcile with our current knowledge of isotope signatures for chemoautotrophic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3237-3254
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental microbiology
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

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