Hologenome analysis reveals dual symbiosis in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent snail Gigantopelta aegis.

Yi Lan, Jin Sun, Chong Chen, Yanan Sun, Yadong Zhou, Yi Yang, Weipeng Zhang, Runsheng Li, Kun Zhou, Wai Chuen Wong, Yick Hang Kwan, Aifang Cheng, Salim Bougouffa, Cindy Lee Van Dover, Jian-Wen Qiu, Pei-Yuan Qian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    Animals endemic to deep-sea hydrothermal vents often form obligatory symbioses with bacteria, maintained by intricate host-symbiont interactions. Most genomic studies on holobionts have not investigated both sides to similar depths. Here, we report dual symbiosis in the peltospirid snail Gigantopelta aegis with two gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts: a sulfur oxidiser and a methane oxidiser. We assemble high-quality genomes for all three parties, including a chromosome-level host genome. Hologenomic analyses reveal mutualism with nutritional complementarity and metabolic co-dependency, highly versatile in transporting and using chemical energy. Gigantopelta aegis likely remodels its immune system to facilitate dual symbiosis. Comparisons with Chrysomallon squamiferum, a confamilial snail with a single sulfur-oxidising gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont, show that their sulfur-oxidising endosymbionts are phylogenetically distant. This is consistent with previous findings that they evolved endosymbiosis convergently. Notably, the two sulfur-oxidisers share the same capabilities in biosynthesising nutrients lacking in the host genomes, potentially a key criterion in symbiont selection.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalNature communications
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 20 2021


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