Symbiosis in Marine Luminous Bacteria
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES DEPT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
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This work indicates that the distribution and abundance of a class of marine microorganisms, the symbiotic luminous bacteria, are controlled by the dynamics of their relationship with their host. Such a conclusion constitutes the first time that the ecology of any marine bacterium could be related to a predictive biological factor. This-study also points to the presence of a significant population of typically culturable V. fischeri cells in seawater that have entered a non-culturable state from which the can be recovered only through an association with a specific animal tissue. Such a phenomenon changes the way we view the initiation of the light organ symbiosis. However, of even broader interest, it suggests that at least a portion of the 99.9 of bacteria in seawater that can not be cultured may not be unknown or new species, but in fact are well-known, typically culturable bacteria that are awaiting a specific environmental cue that signals these cells to re-enter a proliferative stage in their cell cycle.
- Medicine and Medical Research