Science2014-06-12 4:16 PM

细菌控制管虫蜕变按钮  Marine Tubeworm Metamorphosis Induced by Arrays of Bacterial Phage Tail–Like Structures

论文摘要 

是什么能够促使管虫从自由游动的幼虫转变成为一种固定状态的管虫幼虫?管虫是居住在浅水区的包裹着岩石的物种,它们还会造成对诸如船体及钻井用钻头等人造物体的污损。在此之前,研究人员只是知道许多管虫能够在它们开始其转变之前识别来自与表面结合的细菌的信号。但是,Nicholas Shikuma及其同事如今已经对海洋细菌,即藤黄紫假交替单胞菌如何激发华美盘管虫的蜕变有了一些了解。该细菌会挥舞一系列的噬菌体尾巴样的结构——它们通过一个基板相连并由一个六边形网所包围。研究人员将这些结构命名为蜕变相关性收缩结构或MACs;尽管它们的具体功能仍然是未知的,但很清楚的是,管虫的幼虫在没有它们的时候是无法发育的。他们的发现提示在动物与细菌之间有一种新型的相互作用,而它将为研究人员探索海洋生物被膜如何触发动物发育提供一个坚实的起点。

Abstract 

Many benthic marine animal populations are established and maintained by free-swimming larvae that recognize cues from surface-bound bacteria to settle and metamorphose. Larvae of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans, a significant biofouling agent, require contact with surface-bound bacteria to undergo metamorphosis; however, the mechanisms that underpin this microbially mediated developmental transition have been enigmatic. Here, we show that a marine bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea, produces arrays of phage tail–like structures that trigger metamorphosis of H. elegans. These arrays comprise about 100 contractile structures with outward-facing baseplates, linked by tail fibers and a dynamic hexagonal net. Not only do these arrays suggest a novel form of bacterium-animal interaction, they provide an entry point to understanding how marine biofilms can trigger animal development.

Editor's Summary

Big MACs

Tubeworms are important marine benthic species that encrust rocks and contribute to fouling of man-made objects, such as ships' hulls and drilling well heads. Like most marine invertebrates, the larval stages of tubeworms are free-swimming, but the cues for larval settlement and the triggers for metamorphosis are mysterious. Shikuma et al. (p. 529, published online 9 January) experimented on larval settlement by the tubeworm, Hydroides elegans, which needs to associate with a biofilm-forming bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea, before settlement can occur. The bacterium was found to express metamorphosis-associated contractile structures (MACs) in large and structurally elaborate arrays that allow the tubeworm larvae to develop.

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