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Evolutionary innovation: a bone-eating marine symbiosis

Goffredi, Shana K. and Orphan, Victoria J. and Rouse, Greg W. and Jahnke, Linda and Embaye, Tsegeria and Turk, Kendra and Lee, Ray and Vrijenhoek, Robert C. (2005) Evolutionary innovation: a bone-eating marine symbiosis. Environmental Microbiology, 7 (9). pp. 1369-1378. ISSN 1462-2912. doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00824.x.

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Symbiotic associations between microbes and invertebrates have resulted in some of the most unusual physiological and morphological adaptations that have evolved in the animal world. We document a new symbiosis between marine polychaetes of the genus Osedax and members of the bacterial group Oceanospirillales, known for heterotrophic degradation of complex organic compounds. These organisms were discovered living on the carcass of a grey whale at 2891 m depth in Monterey Canyon, off the coast of California. The mouthless and gutless worms are unique in their morphological specializations used to obtain nutrition from decomposing mammalian bones. Adult worms possess elaborate posterior root-like extensions that invade whale bone and contain bacteriocytes that house intracellular symbionts. Stable isotopes and fatty acid analyses suggest that these unusual endosymbionts are likely responsible for the nutrition of this locally abundant and reproductively prolific deep-sea worm.

Item Type:Article
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Goffredi, Shana K.0000-0002-9110-9591
Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Additional Information:© 2005 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Received 28 June, 2004; revised 14 January, 2005; accepted 26 January, 2005. Article first published online: 23 Jun. 2005. The authors thank the Tiburon pilots and Western Flyer crew for obtaining whale bone samples; J. Jones, R. Young and S. Johnson for laboratory support; N. Dubilier and A. Pernthaler for advice regarding the FISH analyses; L. Howe at the Stanford Biofilm Research Center for assistance with confocal microscopy, H. Schoppe, K. Rogers and Adelaide Microscopy for microscopy support. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the US National Science Foundation (OCE0241613 to R.C.V. and DBI0116203 to R.L.) and the South Australian Museum (G.R.) have supported this work.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
South Australian MuseumUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130402-081618805
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Official Citation:Goffredi, S. K., Orphan, V. J., Rouse, G. W., Jahnke, L., Embaye, T., Turk, K., Lee, R. and Vrijenhoek, R. C. (2005), Evolutionary innovation: a bone-eating marine symbiosis. Environmental Microbiology, 7: 1369–1378. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00824.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37710
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Apr 2013 18:21
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:30

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