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Acidovorax-like symbionts in the nephridia of earthworms

Title data

Schramm, Andreas ; Davidson, Seana K. ; Dodsworth, Jeremy A. ; Drake, Harold L. ; Stahl, David A. ; Dubilier, Nicole:
Acidovorax-like symbionts in the nephridia of earthworms.
In: Environmental Microbiology. Vol. 5 (2003) Issue 9 . - pp. 804-809.
ISSN 1462-2920

Abstract in another language

Dense accumulations of bacteria in the excretory organs, nephridia, were first described more than 75 years ago in members of the annelid family Lumbricidae (earthworms). These nephridial symbionts were assumed to play a role in the degradation of proteins in the excretory fluid for nitrogen recycling. In the present study, the phylogenetic affiliation of the nephridial bacteria of the earthworms Lumbricus terrestris, Aporrectodea tuberculata, Octolasion lacteum, and Eisenia foetida was resolved. The 16S rRNA gene sequences of the symbionts formed a monophyletic cluster within the genus Acidovorax. Similarity between symbiont sequences from different host species was 95.5-97.6%, whereas similarity was >99% between symbiont sequences from individuals of the same species. Densely packed bacteria were detected in the ampulla of the nephridia by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using Acidovorax-specific oligonucleotide probes. No other bacterial cells could be found by FISH. These results suggest that the Acidovorax-earthworm symbiosis is a stable, host-specific association that has evolved from a common bacterial ancestor. Given the close phylogenetic relationship of the symbionts to proteolytic, free-living Acidovorax species, they may indeed play a role in protein degradation during nitrogen excretion by earthworms.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER17964
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Ecological Microbiology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2015 09:38
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2015 09:38