First Description of Sulphur-Oxidizing Bacterial Symbiosis in a Cnidarian (Medusozoa) Living in Sulphidic Shallow-Water Environments

Abstract : Background Since the discovery of thioautotrophic bacterial symbiosis in the giant tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, there has been great impetus to investigate such partnerships in other invertebrates. In this study, we present the occurrence of a sulphur-oxidizing symbiosis in a metazoan belonging to the phylum Cnidaria in which this event has never been described previously. Methodology/Principal Findings Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) observations and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXs) analysis, were employed to unveil the presence of prokaryotes population bearing elemental sulphur granules, growing on the body surface of the metazoan. Phylogenetic assessments were also undertaken to identify this invertebrate and microorganisms in thiotrophic symbiosis. Our results showed the occurrence of a thiotrophic symbiosis in a cnidarian identified as Cladonema sp. Conclusions/Significance This is the first report describing the occurrence of a sulphur-oxidizing symbiosis in a cnidarian. Furthermore, of the two adult morphologies, the polyp and medusa, this mutualistic association was found restricted to the polyp form of Cladonema sp.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 3:29:59 PM
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Sylvie Abouna, Silvina Gonzalez-Rizzo, Adrien Grimonprez, Olivier Gros. First Description of Sulphur-Oxidizing Bacterial Symbiosis in a Cnidarian (Medusozoa) Living in Sulphidic Shallow-Water Environments. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (5), pp. e0127625. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0127625⟩. ⟨hal-01203244⟩

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