Host–Endosymbiont Genome Integration in a Deep-Sea Chemosymbiotic Clam

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Figure 1: The drawing shows a clam with its foot extending deep into the sediment to gain access to hydrogen sulfide. The foot and mantle of the clam are red due to the presence of haemoglobin for gas transport in the blood, which is an adaptation to the low-oxygen environment. (Drawn by HKBU student Hu Juntong)
29 Mar 2021
A study led by scientists at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has decoded the genomes of the deep-sea clam (Archivesica marissinica) and the chemoautotrophic bacteria (Candidatus Vesicomyosocius marissinica) that live in its gill epithelium cells. Through analysis of their genomic structures and profiling of their gene expression patterns, the research team revealed that symbiosis between the two partners enables the clams to thrive in extreme deep-sea environments.

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