Deep-sea mussels from a hybrid zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge host genetically indistinguishable symbionts

Ücker, Merle, Ansorge, Rebecca, Sato, Yui, Sayavedra, Lizbeth, Breusing, Corinna, and Dubilier, Nicole (2020) Deep-sea mussels from a hybrid zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge host genetically indistinguishable symbionts. The ISME Journal, 15. pp. 3076-3083.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (771kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


The composition and diversity of animal microbiomes is shaped by a variety of factors, many of them interacting, such as host traits, the environment, and biogeography. Hybrid zones, in which the ranges of two host species meet and hybrids are found, provide natural experiments for determining the drivers of microbiome communities, but have not been well studied in marine environments. Here, we analysed the composition of the symbiont community in two deep-sea, Bathymodiolus mussel species along their known distribution range at hydrothermal vents on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with a focus on the hybrid zone where they interbreed. In-depth metagenomic analyses of the sulphur-oxidising symbionts of 30 mussels from the hybrid zone, at a resolution of single nucleotide polymorphism analyses of ~2500 orthologous genes, revealed that parental and hybrid mussels (F2–F4 generation) have genetically indistinguishable symbionts. While host genetics does not appear to affect symbiont composition in these mussels, redundancy analyses showed that geographic location of the mussels on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge explained most of the symbiont genetic variability compared to the other factors. We hypothesise that geographic structuring of the free-living symbiont population plays a major role in driving the composition of the microbiome in these deep-sea mussels.

Item ID: 76773
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1751-7370
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 04:55
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 55%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 38
Last 12 Months: 6
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page