Mussel growth supported by methane as sole carbon and energy source

S. Craig Gary, Charles R. Fisher, Horst Felbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Symbioses between chemoautotrophic bacteria and several specialized marine invertebrates are well documented. However, none of these symbioses have been demonstrated to provide sufficient energy and carbon to the host to enable it to grow. Growth rates of seep mussels collected from hydrocarbon seeps off the coast of Louisiana were measured in a controlled environment where methane was the sole carbon and energy source. The growth rates increased to a maximum of 17.2 micrometers per day in response to methane and approached zero in the absence of methane. These mussels contain methanotrophic symbiotic bacteria in their gills, which suggests that these bacteria provide their hosts with a net carbon flux originating from methane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-80
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume240
Issue number4848
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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