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Carrier of reduced sulfur is a possible role for thiotaurine in symbiotic species from hydrothermal vents with thiotrophic symbionts

Pruski, A.M.; De Wit, R.; Fiala-Médioni, A.. 2001 Carrier of reduced sulfur is a possible role for thiotaurine in symbiotic species from hydrothermal vents with thiotrophic symbionts. Hydrobiologia, 461 (1-3). 15-23. 10.1023/A:1012748727678

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Abstract/Summary

Experiments supporting the possible role of the free sulfur-containing amino acid thiotaurine, as a transport and storage compound for sulfide in invertebrates with thiotrophic symbionts are described. The free-living chemotrophic sulfur-oxidising bacterium, Thiobacillus hydrothermalis (strain DSMZ 7121), was used as a model for the symbionts as the actual symbionts have not been obtained in culture. Thiotaurine contains two sulfur atoms, namely the inner sulfone and the outer sulfane sulfur; the latter presents a potential source of reducing equivalents for the symbiont. Nevertheless, we observed no oxidation of thiotaurine when this compound was added to a culture of T. hydrothermalis pre-grown on sulfide. In contrast, when thiotaurine was added to the culture together with an extract of the trophosome of a vestimentiferan tubeworm from the Manus basin, we observed that thiotaurine was oxidised to hypotaurine with concomitant acidification and formation of bacterial biomass. Thus, the trophosome contains an unknown catalytic factor. We suggest that thiotaurine requires reduction prior to oxidation by T. hydrothermalisand that the host may catalyse the conversion of thiotaurine through the glutathione redox couple. This way, the host can accurately control energy delivery (as reduced sulfur) to the symbionts and can therefore control their symbiont biomass.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1023/A:1012748727678
ISSN: 0018-8158
Date made live: 27 Aug 2008 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/159190

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