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Response of hydrothermal vent vestimentiferan Riftia pachyptila to differences in habitat chemistry
Scott, K.M.; Boller, A.J.; Dobrinski, K.P.; Le Bris, N. (2012). Response of hydrothermal vent vestimentiferan Riftia pachyptila to differences in habitat chemistry. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(2): 435-442.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Scott, K.M.
  • Boller, A.J.
  • Dobrinski, K.P.
  • Le Bris, N.

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms, which rely on intracellular sulfide-oxidizing autotrophic bacteria for organic carbon, flourish at deep-sea hydrothermal vents despite the erratic nature of their habitat. To assess the degree to which differences in habitat chemistry (sulfide, pH/CO2) might impact host and symbiont metabolic activity, Riftia pachyptila tubeworms were collected from habitats with low (H2S < 0.0001 mM) and high (up to 0.7 mM) sulfide concentrations. The elemental sulfur content of the symbiont-containing trophosome organ was lower in specimens collected from the low-sulfide site. Symbiont abundance, RubisCO activity, and trophosome carbon fixation rates were not significantly different for individuals collected from low- versus high-sulfide habitats. Carbonic anhydrase activities were higher in the anterior gas exchange organs of R. pachyptila from the low-sulfide habitat. Despite large differences in habitat chemistry, symbiont abundance and autotrophic potential were consistent, while the host appears to tailor carbonic anhydrase activity to environmental CO2 availability.

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