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Tissue and symbiont condition of mussels (Bathymodiolus thermophilus) exposed to varying levels of hydrothermal activity
Raulfs, E.C.; Macko, S.A.; Van Dover, C.L. (2004). Tissue and symbiont condition of mussels (Bathymodiolus thermophilus) exposed to varying levels of hydrothermal activity. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 84(1): 229-234
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Bacteria; Electron microscopy; Feeding; Gills; Light transmission; Marine molluscs; Sulphur oxides; Symbionts; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Raulfs, E.C.
  • Macko, S.A.
  • Van Dover, C.L.

Abstract
    Bathymodiolus thermophilus is a mixotrophic mussel capable of deriving nourishment from sulphur-oxidizing, bacterial endosymbionts in its gills and from suspended particulates through mucociliary feeding. These mussels become nutritionally stressed when removed from sulphide-rich fluid, but the dynamics of the host/symbiont relationship during this process are still not fully understood. Bathymodiolus thermophilus mussels were collected from an active and a waning hydrothermal site on the southern East Pacific Rise (EPR) and were removed from active venting for 12 d at a site on the northern EPR. Light and transmission electron microscopy showed that gill symbionts were lost from gill bacteriocytes in transplant mussels and that mussels exposed to longer periods of sulphide deprivation suffered deterioration of gill structure and body condition. There was no evidence to support the hypothesis of a shift toward reliance on photosynthetically derived organic material in mussels at the waning vent site.

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