Occurrence of a specific dual symbiosis in the excretory organ of geographically distant Nautiloids populations

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Journal Article
Environmental Microbiology Reports, 2012, 4 (5), pp. 504 - 511
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Nautilus is one of the most intriguing of all sea creatures, sharing morphological similarities with the extinct forms of coiled cephalopods that evolved since the Cambrian (542-488mya). Further, bacterial symbioses found in their excretory organ are of particular interest as they provide a great opportunity to investigate the influence of host-microbe interactions upon the origin and evolution of an innovative nitrogen excretory system. To establish the potential of Nautilus excretory organ as a new symbiotic system, it is, however, necessary to assess the specificity of this symbiosis and whether it is consistent within the different species of present-day Nautiloids. By addressing the phylogeny and distribution of bacterial symbionts in three Nautilus populations separated by more than 6000km (N.pompilius from Philippines and Vanuatu, and N.macromphalus from New Caledonia), this study confirms the specificity of this dual symbiosis involving the presence of betaproteobacteria and spirochaete symbionts on a very wide geographical area. Overall, this work sheds further light on Nautiloids excretory organ as an innovative system of interaction between bacteria and cephalopods. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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