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Journal Article

Hydrogen is an energy source for hydrothermal vent symbioses

MPS-Authors
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Petersen,  J. M.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Zielinski,  F. U.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Moraru,  C.
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Amann,  R.
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Pelletier,  E.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Fink,  D.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Borowski,  C.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Dubilier,  N.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Petersen, J. M., Zielinski, F. U., Pape, T., Seifert, R., Moraru, C., Amann, R., et al. (2011). Hydrogen is an energy source for hydrothermal vent symbioses. Nature, 476(7359), 176-180.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-C92B-D
Abstract
The discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in 1977 revolutionized our understanding of the energy sources that fuel primary productivity on Earth. Hydrothermal vent ecosystems are dominated by animals that live in symbiosis with chemosynthetic bacteria. So far, only two energy sources have been shown to power chemosynthetic symbioses: reduced sulphur compounds and methane. Using metagenome sequencing, single-gene fluorescence in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, shipboard incubations and in situ mass spectrometry, we show here that the symbionts of the hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge use hydrogen to power primary production. In addition, we show that the symbionts of Bathymodiolus mussels from Pacific vents have hupL, the key gene for hydrogen oxidation. Furthermore, the symbionts of other vent animals such as the tubeworm Riftia pachyptila and the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata also have hupL. We propose that the ability to use hydrogen as an energy source is widespread in hydrothermal vent symbioses, particularly at sites where hydrogen is abundant.