Methane Chemosynthesis

Owing to their ecological importance and remarkable biological characteristics, including their ability to survive an extended period under atmospheric pressure We sequenced the genomes of both B.

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Despite this hostile environment, these ecosystems support dense populations of macrobenthos which, with the help of chemoautotrophic endosymbionts, are fuelled by simple reduced molecules such as methane and hydrogen sulfide.

Deep-sea mussels (Mytilidae, Bathymodiolinae) often dominate at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps around the world.

The scale bar indicates 0.05 expected substitutions per site.

d, Phylogenetic tree of Mytilidae based on transcriptome data from representative genera/species.

c, Heat map of major annotated Pfam domains that are expanded in B.

platifrons, with multiple domains in a given gene being counted as one.

Using the lophotrochozoan tree as a reference, the time of divergence between B. philippinarum was estimated to be around 110.4 million years ago (Ma), with a 95% confidence interval of 52.4–209.7 Ma (Fig.

2b), which is close to the upper age limit of deep-sea symbiotic mussels (102 Ma) previously estimated using five genes.

A follow-up metaproteomic analysis of the gill of B.

platifrons shows methanotrophy, assimilatory sulfate reduction and ammonia metabolic pathways in the symbionts, providing energy and nutrients, which allow the host to thrive.


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