Eating your Microbiome: Nutritional Symbioses between Chemosynthetic Bacteria and Marine Invertebrates

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Several seminars are held weekly at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, an initiative that aims to bring together all researchers around the topics under discussion.

The sessions, with internal researchers or guests, contribute to stimulate the open and extremely collaborative culture of the IGC.

You can read the abstract of this seminar to learn more about it.


Symbioses between chemosynthetic bacteria and marine invertebrates were first discovered at hydrothermal vents in the deep sea but are now known to occur in a wide range of habitats including coral reef sediments, seagrass beds, cold seeps and sunken whale carcasses. In these nutritional associations, the bacterial symbionts use chemical energy sources such as hydrogen sulfide to fix CO2 into organic compounds and feed their hosts. Chemosynthetic symbioses have evolved multiple times in convergent evolution from numerous bacterial lineages, and occur in at least nine protist and animal groups such as ciliates, flatworms, mussels, clams, snails, annelids, and nematodes.  In my talk, I will describe how our toolkit of methods ranging from in situ experiments to meta'omic' and imaging analyses of chemosynthetic symbioses have revealed the biological, ecological and evolutionary processes that drive these host-microbe associations.



Nicole Dubilier
Max Plank Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany



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