Giant Tube Worms and Symbiotic Bacteria


Chemosynthetic bacteria Have co-evolved with the giant tube worm Riftia pachyptila in order to survive the harsh environment around deep ocean hydrothermal vents In order for biosynthesis to occur, the worm must deliver key substrates to Bacteria living inside the worms trophosome Hydrogen sulfide oxygen and carbon dioxide are taken in by the worm through a highly vascularized gill-like plume Riftia pachyptila has evolved unique hemoglobins that allow it to bind both sulphide and oxygen These substrates are delivered to specialized host cells called bacteriocytes which contain the chemosynthetic bacteria These bacteria use hydrogen sulfide and oxygen to produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate This energy is used to convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds such as glucose Glucose is then supplied to the host either through bacterial excretion or direct digestion of the bacteria Chemosynthetic bacteria make life around hydrothermal vents possible. This unique ecosystem can provide insights into the origin of life and perhaps clues to possible life on other worlds.

9 thoughts on “Giant Tube Worms and Symbiotic Bacteria

  1. Hi, wondering where to source the image you have in this video f the giant tube worms? It is 14sec into video. Hope to hear!

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