|Preliminary studies on the relationship between the Pompeii worm, Alvinella pompejana (Polychaeta: Ampharetidae), and its epibiotic bacteria|
Alayse-Danet, A.M.; Gaill, F.; Desbruyères, D. (1985). Preliminary studies on the relationship between the Pompeii worm, Alvinella pompejana (Polychaeta: Ampharetidae), and its epibiotic bacteria, in: Gibbs, P.E. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 19th European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, Devon, UK, 16-21 September 1984. pp. 167-172
In: Gibbs, P.E. (Ed.) (1985). Proceedings of the 19th European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, Devon, UK, 16-21 September 1984. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-30294-3. 541 pp., more
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- Alayse-Danet, A.M.
- Gaill, F.
- Desbruyères, D., more
Chemosynthetic bacteria play a prominent role in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystem, especially those bacteria associated with benthic animals. Much work has focused on the intracellular bacteria of the giant pogonophores and bivalve molluscs, but the epibiotic bacteria of the Pompeii worm, Alvinella pompejana, have been little studied. Previous results obtained for the δ13C values of the worm tissue, as well as morphological analysis of the epibiotic bacteria, suggested that some metabolite exchange occurred between the bacteria and their animal host. Preliminary experiments to test this possibility were carried out during a recent French cruise 'Biocyarise'. Samples of Alvinella were exposed in situ at 2600 m depth at 7-10°C to sea water containing 14C-labelled bicarbonate, with and without antibiotics. Results of liquid scintillation counting and radioautographic analysis show that while both sets of animals fixed inorganic carbon to organic compounds, this activity was much higher in those not treated with antibiotics. The radioautography showed that not all bacteria were labelled, indicating that forms with differing metabolism were present and functional under the experimental conditions. Taken together with previous results, the new evidence reinforces the view that a symbiotic relationship exists between the Pompeii worm and its epibiotic bacteria.