The Co‐occurrence of Methanotrophic and Chemoautotrophic Sulfur‐Oxidizing Bacterial Symbionts in a Deep‐sea Mussel

C. R. Fisher, J. M. Brooks, J. S. Vodenichar, J. M. Zande, J. J. Childress, R. A Burke Jr.

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Abstract

Abstract. In April 1990 a new species of mytilid containing bacterial endosymbionts was discovered at a deep‐water seep site within Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. Activities of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and ATP sulfurylase, as well as the presence of substantial levels of elemental sulfur in the gill tissues indicate the presence of chemoautotrophic sulfur‐oxidizing symbionts in the gills. Methanol dehydrogenase activity and the tissue stable carbon isotope ratios indicate the presence of methanotrophic bacteria in the gills of the same animals. Two distinct size classes and morphological types of gram negative bacteria are visible in transmission electron micrographs of the gill tissue, one of which contains the complex internal membranes typical of methanotrophs. Both general types of symbionts have been demonstrated singly in related species of deep‐sea mytilids. In this species, however, both types are found in single individuals, often within the same cell vacuole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Ecology
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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    Fisher, C. R., Brooks, J. M., Vodenichar, J. S., Zande, J. M., Childress, J. J., & Jr., R. A. B. (1993). The Co‐occurrence of Methanotrophic and Chemoautotrophic Sulfur‐Oxidizing Bacterial Symbionts in a Deep‐sea Mussel. Marine Ecology, 14(4), 277-289. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0485.1993.tb00001.x