Symbiotic relationship between bacteria and tube worms video

Extreme life (article) | Khan Academy

of Riftia pachyptila and Chemosynthetic Bacteria (Giant Tube Worms and Symbiotic Bacteria) Link to Video, The full video submission may be viewed here. Some species of bacteria can use these inorganic compounds in chemical reactions to worm, Riftia pachyptila, have a symbiotic relationship with species of . In the video, we learn that chemosynthesis is at the base of the food chain in . The chemotrophic (chemical eating) bacteria exist in symbiotic relationships with other members of the ecosystem, including mussels and 8-foot long tubeworms.

The proteome revealed telltale enzymes, which the bacteria use to harness chemical energy and to fix inorganic carbon.

Giant Tube Worm

The combined genomic and proteomic approaches offer a valuable way to investigate the metabolic capabilities and history of these microorganisms, said Charles Fisher of Pennsylvania State University and Peter Girguis of Harvard University, who wrote a perspective article on the research in Science. The new study solves one mystery that had been puzzling scientists for decades. They had found that tubeworm tissues contain more of a heavier stable carbon isotope than expected if the Calvin cycle were the only one at work.

symbiotic relationship between bacteria and tube worms video

Use of the rTCA cycle explains this conundrum, because it results in the incorporation of more of the heavy stable carbon isotope, compared to the Calvin cycle, Sievert said. The Calvin cycle works with plenty of oxygen around, Sievert explained, but requires substantially more energy than the rTCA cycle, which, on the other hand, is inhibited by higher oxygen concentrations.

Such metabolic flexibility is an asset in habitats dependent on the fluctuating flows of fluids emanating from hydrothermal vents, he said. A relationship with give and take For a long time, the means by which the tubeworms Riftia pachyptila acquired the symbionts had remained a mystery as well, with many investigators thinking that the worms may pick up the bacteria in their larval stage, when the worms still have a mouth.

Giant Tube Worm - Deep Sea Creatures on Sea and Sky

This feat is accomplished by a special type of hemoglobin in their blood that can transport oxygen and sulfide at the same time human hemoglobin transports only oxygen. The bacteria inside the tubeworms oxidize hydrogen sulfide to create energy. The bacteria actually convert the chemicals from the hydrothermal vents into organic molecules that provide food for the worm.

Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of these worms is their bright red plume.

symbiotic relationship between bacteria and tube worms video

This is a specialized organ used for exchanging compounds such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide with the seawater. The bright red color comes from the presence of large amounts of hemoglobin blood.

It is this plume that provides nutrients to the bacteria that live inside the worm. The outer tube of the worm is made from a tough, natural substance called chitin.

How Giant Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents | I Contain Multitudes | PBS

Chitin is also the main component in the exoskeletons of crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. Although the worms have no eyes, they can sense movement and vibrations and will retreat into their protective tubes when threatened.

After hatching, the young larvae swim down and attach themselves to rocks. As the larvae develop into tiny worms, they temporarily develop a primitive mouth and gut through which the symbiotic bacteria enter.

As the worm grows older, the mouth and gut disappear, trapping the bacteria inside. Giant tube worms have been found throughout the Pacific Ocean where deep sea hydrothermal vents have been discovered.

Giant Tube Worms and Symbiotic Bacteria

The average depth of these vents is 5, feet 1, meters. Entire communities of shrimps and crabs have been found living around these giants. It is believed that these invertebrates feed by nibbling off bits of the tube worms' red plumes. As amazing as these vent ecosystems are, they are also extremely fragile.