Integrative taxonomy revisits the ontogeny and trophic niches of Rimicaris vent shrimps.
ABSTRACT: Among hydrothermal vent species, Rimicaris exoculata is one of the most emblematic, hosting abundant and diverse ectosymbioses that provide most of its nutrition. Rimicaris exoculata co-occurs in dense aggregates with the much less abundant Rimicaris chacei in many Mid-Atlantic Ridge vent fields. This second shrimp also houses ectosymbiotic microorganisms but has a mixotrophic diet. Recent observations have suggested potential misidentifications between these species at their juvenile stages, which could have led to misinterpretations of their early-life ecology. Here, we confirm erroneous identification of the earliest stages and propose a new set of morphological characters unambiguously identifying juveniles of each species. On the basis of this reassessment, combined use of C, N and S stable isotope ratios reveals distinct ontogenic trophic niche shifts in both species, from photosynthesis-based nutrition before settlement, towards a chemosynthetic diet afterwards. Furthermore, isotopic compositions in the earliest juvenile stages suggest differences in larval histories. Each species thus exhibits specific early-life strategies that would, without our re-examination, have been interpreted as ontogenetic variations. Overall, our results provide a good illustration of the identification issues persisting in deep-sea ecosystems and the importance of integrative taxonomy in providing an accurate view of fundamental aspects of the biology and ecology of species inhabiting these environments.
Project description:The caridean shrimp Rimicaris exoculata dominates the fauna at several Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vent sites. This shrimp has an enlarged gill chamber, harboring a dense ectosymbiotic community of chemoautotrophic bacteria associated with mineral oxide deposits. Until now, their acquisition is not fully understood. At three hydrothermal vent sites, we analyzed the epibionts diversity at different moult stages and also in the first stages of the shrimp life (eggs, hatched eggs (with larvae) and juveniles). Hatched eggs associated with young larvae were collected for the first time directly from gravid females at the Logachev vent site during the Serpentine cruise. An approach using 16S rRNA clone libraries, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and fluorescent in situ hybridization was used. Molecular results and microscope observations indicated a switch in the composition of the bacterial community between early R. exoculata life cycle stage (egg libraries dominated by the Gammaproteobacteria) and later stages (juvenile/adult libraries dominated by the Epsilonproteobacteria). We hypothesized that the epibiotic phylotype composition could vary according to the life stage of the shrimp. Our results confirmed the occurrence of a symbiosis with Gammaproteobacteria and Epsilonproteobacteria, but more complex than previously assumed. We revealed the presence of active type-I methanotrophic bacteria colonizing the cephalothorax of shrimps from the Rainbow site. They were also present on the eggs from the Logachev site. This could be the first 'epibiotic' association between methanotrophic bacteria and hydrothermal vent crustacean. We discuss possible transmission pathways for epibionts linked to the shrimp life cycle.
Project description:The deep-sea hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata largely depends on a dense epibiotic chemoautotrophic bacterial community within its enlarged cephalothoracic chamber. However, our understanding of shrimp-bacterium interactions is limited. In this report, we focused on the deltaproteobacterial epibiont of R. exoculata from the relatively unexplored South Mid-Atlantic Ridge. A nearly complete genome of a Deltaproteobacteria epibiont was binned from the assembled metagenome. Whole-genome phylogenetic analysis reveals that it is affiliated with the genus Desulfobulbus, representing a potential novel species for which the name "Candidatus Desulfobulbus rimicarensis" is proposed. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses reveal that this bacterium utilizes the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for carbon assimilation and harvests energy via sulfur disproportionation, which is significantly different from other shrimp epibionts. Additionally, this epibiont has putative nitrogen fixation activity, but it is extremely active in directly taking up ammonia and urea from the host or vent environments. Moreover, the epibiont could be distinguished from its free-living relatives by various features, such as the lack of chemotaxis and motility traits, a dramatic reduction in biosynthesis genes for capsular and extracellular polysaccharides, enrichment of genes required for carbon fixation and sulfur metabolism, and resistance to environmental toxins. Our study highlights the unique role and symbiotic adaptation of Deltaproteobacteria in deep-sea hydrothermal vent shrimps.IMPORTANCE The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata represents the dominant faunal biomass at many deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This organism harbors dense bacterial epibiont communities in its enlarged cephalothoracic chamber that play an important nutritional role. Deltaproteobacteria are ubiquitous in epibiotic communities of R. exoculata, and their functional roles as epibionts are based solely on the presence of functional genes. Here, we describe "Candidatus Desulfobulbus rimicarensis," an uncultivated deltaproteobacterial epibiont. Compared to campylobacterial and gammaproteobacterial epibionts of R. exoculata, this bacterium possessed unique metabolic pathways, such as the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, as well as sulfur disproportionation and nitrogen fixation pathways. Furthermore, this epibiont can be distinguished from closely related free-living Desulfobulbus strains by its reduced genetic content and potential loss of functions, suggesting unique adaptations to the shrimp host. This study is a genomic and transcriptomic analysis of a deltaproteobacterial epibiont and largely expands the understanding of its metabolism and adaptation to the R. exoculata host.
Project description:Rimicaris exoculata is one of the most well-known and emblematic species of endemic vent fauna. Like many other species from these ecosystems, Rimicaris shrimps host important communities of chemosynthetic bacteria living in symbiosis with their host inside the cephalothorax and gut. For many of these symbiotic partners, the mode of transmission remains to be elucidated and the starting point of the symbiotic relationship is not yet defined, but could begin with the egg. In this study, we explored the proliferation of microbial communities on R. exoculata broods through embryonic development using a combination of NGS sequencing and microscopy approaches. Variations in abundance and diversity of egg microbial communities were analyzed in broods at different developmental stages and collected from mothers at two distinct vent fields on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (TAG and Snake Pit). We also assessed the specificity of the egg microbiome by comparing communities developing on egg surfaces with those developing on the cuticle of pleopods, which are thought to be exposed to similar environmental conditions because the brood is held under the female's abdomen. In terms of abundance, bacterial colonization clearly increases with both egg developmental stage and the position of the egg within the brood: those closest to the exterior having a higher bacterial coverage. Bacterial biomass increase also accompanies an increase of mineral precipitations and thus clearly relates to the degree of exposure to vent fluids. In terms of diversity, most bacterial lineages were found in all samples and were also those found in the cephalothorax of adults. However, significant variation occurs in the relative abundance of these lineages, most of this variation being explained by body surface (egg vs. pleopod), vent field, and developmental stage. The occurrence of symbiont-related lineages of Epsilonbacteraeota, Gammaproteobacteria, Zetaproteobacteria, and Mollicutes provide a basis for discussion on both the acquisition of symbionts and the potential roles of these bacterial communities during egg development.
Project description:Prokaryotic communities forming symbiotic relationships with the vent shrimp, Rimicaris exoculata, are well studied components of hydrothermal ecosystems at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Despite the tight link between host and symbiont, the observed lack of spatial genetic structure seen in R. exoculata contrasts with the geographic differentiation detected in specific bacterial ectosymbionts. The geographic clustering of bacterial lineages within a seemingly panmictic host suggests either the presence of finer scale restriction to gene flow not yet detected in the host, horizontal transmission (environmental selection) of its endosymbionts as a consequence of unique vent geochemistry, or vertically transmitted endosymbionts that exhibit genetic differentiation. To identify which hypothesis best fits, we tested whether bacterial assemblages exhibit differentiation across sites or host populations by performing a 16S rRNA metabarcoding survey on R. exoculata digestive prokaryote samples (n = 31) taken from three geochemically distinct vents across MAR: Rainbow, Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) and Logatchev. Analysis of communities across two organs (digestive tract, stomach), three molt colors (white, red, black) and three life stages (eggs, juveniles, adults) also provided insights into symbiont transmission mode. Examining both whole communities and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) confirmed the presence of three main epibionts: Epsilonproteobacteria, Mollicutes and Deferribacteres. With these findings, we identified a clear pattern of geographic segregation by vent in OTUs assigned to Epsilonproteobacteria. Additionally, we detected evidence for differentiation among all communities associated to vents and life stages. Overall, results suggest a combination of environmental selection and vertical inheritance of some of the symbiotic lineages.
Project description:Rimicaris exoculata is a caridean shrimp that dominates the fauna at several hydrothermal vent sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It has two distinct and stable microbial communities. One of these epibiontic bacterial communities is located in the shrimp gut and has a distribution and role that are poorly understood. The second colonizes its enlarged gill chamber and is involved in host nutrition. It is eliminated after each molt, and has colonization processes reminiscent of those of a biofilm. The presence and expression of genes usually involved in quorum sensing (QS) were then studied. At four sites, Rainbow, TAG, Snake Pit and Logatchev, two lux genes were identified in the R. exoculata epibiontic community at different shrimp molt stages and life stages. RT-PCR experiments highlighted lux gene expression activity at TAG, Snake Pit and Rainbow vent sites. Their potential QS activity and their possible roles in epibiont colonization processes are discussed. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis has shown the presence of three clades for luxS (Epsilonproteobacteria) and four clades for luxR (Gammaproteobacteria) genes, each clade being restricted to a single site. These genes are more divergent than the 16S rRNA one. They could therefore be used as biogeographical genetic markers.
Project description:Assessing species thermal tolerance requires identification of their thermal strategies and evaluation of their ability to cope with temperature fluctuations. The mobilization of the molecular heat stress response (HSR), which is a proxy for the thermal tolerance, would be part of the strategy of species colonizing highly variable thermal environments. We here investigate multiple parameters of the HSR in the deep-sea vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata that colonizes such environments. The set points of the HSR induction, compared to those of the coastal species Palaemonetes varians, clearly reflect a high thermotolerance in this species, while the HSR is proved to be rarely mobilized in the R. exoculata natural populations. Finally, the compilation of multiple parameters such as the upper thermal limit and several thresholds of the HSR, as well as thermal behavior observations, allows us to provide a more accurate picture of the combination and complementarity of strategies that can account for the overall thermal tolerance of the species.
Project description:Rimicaris chacei Williams and Rona 1986, formerly named as Chorocaris chacei, is a caridean shrimp living in deep-sea hydrothermal ecosystems. This shrimp is endemic to the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and lives at the periphery of aggregates of its well-known congeneric R. exoculata Williams and Rona 1986. Contrasting with the very dense and mobile clusters formed by R. exoculata, R. chacei lives in small groups of several individuals that are not very mobile. Although devoid of the characteristic hypertrophied cephalothorax of R. exoculata, which harbors the ectosymbionts, a microbial community has also been reported in the cephalothorax of R. chacei. Previous data on morphology, behavior and isotopic values indicate a diet based on a combination of feeding on its epibiotic bacteria and scavenging or occasional predation. In this study, our objective was to describe, for the first time, the distribution, morphology and phylogeny of the microbial communities associated with R. chacei. This species is significantly less studied than R. exoculata, but nevertheless represents the only other known example of symbiosis in crustaceans of MAR hydrothermal vent sites. Microbial communities have been observed at the same locations as in R. exoculata (mouthparts, branchiostegites and digestive tract). However, in R. chacei, the surfaces occupied by the bacteria are smaller. The main lineages are affiliated to Epsilon and Gammaproteobacteria in the cephalothorax and to Deferribacteres, Mollicutes, Epsilon and Gammaproteobacteria in the digestive tract. Comparison with the well-described bacterial communities of R. exoculata and hypotheses about the role of these communities in R. chacei are discussed.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata dominates the faunal biomass at many deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In its enlarged gill chamber it harbors a specialized epibiotic bacterial community for which a nutritional role has been proposed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed specimens from the Snake Pit hydrothermal vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by complementing a 16S rRNA gene survey with the analysis of genes involved in carbon, sulfur and hydrogen metabolism. In addition to Epsilon- and Gammaproteobacteria, the epibiotic community unexpectedly also consists of Deltaproteobacteria of a single phylotype, closely related to the genus Desulfocapsa. The association of these phylogenetic groups with the shrimp was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Based on functional gene analyses, we hypothesize that the Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria are capable of autotrophic growth by oxidizing reduced sulfur compounds, and that the Deltaproteobacteria are also involved in sulfur metabolism. In addition, the detection of proteobacterial hydrogenases indicates the potential for hydrogen oxidation in these communities. Interestingly, the frequency of these phylotypes in 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from the mouthparts differ from that of the inner lining of the gill chamber, indicating potential functional compartmentalization. CONCLUSIONS: Our data show the specific association of autotrophic bacteria with Rimicaris exoculata from the Snake Pit hydrothermal vent field, and suggest that autotrophic carbon fixation is contributing to the productivity of the epibiotic community with the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle as one important carbon fixation pathway. This has not been considered in previous studies of carbon fixation and stable carbon isotope composition of the shrimp and its epibionts. Furthermore, the co-occurrence of sulfur-oxidizing and sulfur-reducing epibionts raises the possibility that both may be involved in the syntrophic exchange of sulfur compounds, which could increase the overall efficiency of this epibiotic community.
Project description:The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata dominates the fauna in deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (depth, 2,320 m). Here, we identified and biochemically characterized three carboxyl esterases from microbial communities inhabiting the R. exoculata gill that were isolated by naive screens of a gill chamber metagenomic library. These proteins exhibit low to moderate identity to known esterase sequences (?52%) and to each other (11.9 to 63.7%) and appear to have originated from unknown species or from genera of Proteobacteria related to Thiothrix/Leucothrix (MGS-RG1/RG2) and to the Rhodobacteraceae group (MGS-RG3). A library of 131 esters and 31 additional esterase/lipase preparations was used to evaluate the activity profiles of these enzymes. All 3 of these enzymes had greater esterase than lipase activity and exhibited specific activities with ester substrates (?356 U mg(-1)) in the range of similar enzymes. MGS-RG3 was inhibited by salts and pressure and had a low optimal temperature (30°C), and its substrate profile clustered within a group of low-activity and substrate-restricted marine enzymes. In contrast, MGS-RG1 and MGS-RG2 were most active at 45 to 50°C and were salt activated and barotolerant. They also exhibited wider substrate profiles that were close to those of highly active promiscuous enzymes from a marine hydrothermal vent (MGS-RG2) and from a cold brackish lake (MGS-RG1). The data presented are discussed in the context of promoting the examination of enzyme activities of taxa found in habitats that have been neglected for enzyme prospecting; the enzymes found in these taxa may reflect distinct habitat-specific adaptations and may constitute new sources of rare reaction specificities.
Project description:Arsenic concentration and speciation were determined in benthic fauna collected from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vents. The shrimp species, Rimicaris exoculata, the vent chimney-dwelling mussel, Bathymodiolus azoricus, Branchipolynoe seepensis, a commensal worm of B. azoricus, and the gastropod Peltospira smaragdina showed variations in As concentration and in stable isotope (?13C and ?15N) signature between species, suggesting different sources of As uptake. Arsenic speciation showed arsenobetaine to be the dominant species in R. exoculata, whereas in B. azoricus and B. seepensis arsenosugars were most abundant, although arsenobetaine, dimethylarsinate, and inorganic arsenic were also observed, along with several unidentified species. Scrape samples from outside the vent chimneys, covered with microbial mat, which is a presumed food source for many vent organisms, contained high levels of total As, but organic species were not detectable. The formation of arsenosugars in pelagic environments is typically attributed to marine algae, and the pathway to arsenobetaine is still unknown. The occurrence of arsenosugars and arsenobetaine in these deep sea organisms, where primary production is chemolithoautotrophic and stable isotope analyses indicate food sources are of vent origin, suggests that organic arsenicals can occur in a food web without algae or other photosynthetic life.