Symbiotic Relationships As A Valuable Adaptation To Survive In Extreme Environments

Organisms in deep sea must be able adapt to the stresses of life at depth. Symbiotic relationships allow organisms to survive predation or starvation better by allowing them to interact with one another. Both parties benefit in many ways from mutualism. This study reveals how species interact to reveal how well they can adapt and evolve in extreme environments.

In mutualistic relationships that are well-established, species can alter their morphology for their benefit. Rimicaris Exoculata is an example of such a mutualistic relationship. The crustacean has a dense setae coverage in its mouthparts which houses the bacterial epibionts – Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproterobacteria – it needs to oxidise sulphur and iron compounds expelled from vent fluids. A large cephalothorax has been developed to support more ectosymbionts. The setae are supported by the cephalothorax’s inner side. R. exoculuta benefits from chemoautotrophic bacteria and other symbiotic bacteria. This is believed to be through transepidermal mechanisms. The ectosymbionts in turn live in a microenvironment that is constantly supplied with electron donors and receiveors. This allows the shrimp to migrate to more fertile waters to increase their productivity. GURI examined the structure of the ectosymbionts during the different life stages of vent shrimp. The shrimp interact with bacteria at the beginning of their lifecycle. Gammaproteobacteria found in the mucus around eggs could serve as a protective mechanism allowing detoxication and protection against pathogens. Peterson analysis of these epibionts demonstrated that there was variation among the dominances of the bacteria depending on the geo-chemical locations. This means that it is possible to compare the distribution patterns between these symbiotic organisms and help us understand the evolutionary processes behind migration and symbiont-host relationships. It is clear that these two organisms have a stable mutualistic relationship which allows them to survive in such harsh conditions. Predation pressures have led to a mutualism between Allantactis parasitica, and other deep-sea gastropods, which has been established along Canada’s Eastern coast at depths of up to 1100m. A. parasitica has a preference for specific shell positions based on their bodies. Leptasterias poles are primarily deterred by gastropods. The whorl may have one or more anemones. The anemone’s tentacles are usually extended, rendering the gastropod more inaccessible to predators.

Mericer Hamel 2008 observed that predators didn’t make any obvious attempt to get at the anemone-containing gastropods in 100% cases. A. parasitica is protected from Crossaster paposus since the disturbed movements made by the gastropods make capturing the anemone more difficult. Although they are not dependent on each other, studies show that A. parisitica will choose to live on a surface with more nutrients than one with soft-sediment. The symbiotic relationship also has the advantage of increasing the reproductive and growth success of anemones that are associated with gastropods (reprod+settle). A. parasitica matured twice as fast than juveniles because of the higher food supply due to the movement of the gastropod. This species reached its maximum adulthood after only 6-7 years, in contrast to its asymbiotic cousins, which reached this stage of growth after at most 11 years. A larger anemone is found to position itself on the shell’s last sheath, so they can access the basibiont’s food. As they are less likely be pushed off their shells or to become suffocated by the gastropods’ movements, small anemones, especially juveniles, are located further from ground.

In Rhinoclavis articulate, it was seen that as the siphonal Canal could protect the epibionts while they traveled, 4-6 anemones were found in the shells. Reproduction People also observed that A. Parasitica also synchronised the spawning period with that of gastropods. Anemone species were often found together while they were on the whorls, as a result of Neptunea congregata and Colus stampsoni being reproduced. This time was also the best time to spawn, as fertilization rates were high. Feeding People found that the anemone’s basibiont diet had a significant impact on its fertility. The asymbiotics had less variety of food and more bathhhyl organisms in their gastrovacular cavities. This is because A. parasitica has more food options than the snails that they can forage. Gastrozopods can continue to feed longer hours if predators are disarmed. Anemones can access a steady supply rich food source.

Although 17 evolutionary accounts have been presented of bioluminescence among ray-finned rayfishes and symbiotic microbes, it is unclear if they coevolved over the years. The interactions between bacteria and hosts are fluid. The fish organs contain many different bacterial populations, as well as the microbial species that can be found in the same environment. Although there is not much host specificity, the relationship between bioluminescent and their hosts is important as it has developed over time. The light generated by the bacteria helps fish to catch prey, camouflage and defend themselves as well as communicate. Their hosts have many structures that allow them to control, concentrate and display bioluminescence. The safe environment is provided for the microbes.

Because intra-species encounters are unpredictable in deep-sea, organisms need to maximize their chances of successfully reproducing and producing viable offspring. The female ceratioid fishes, who are unable to interact with each other to produce a variety of species, have created sex-specific bioluminescent displays. In order to attract prey, the female’s esca is essential. She may become large and relatively mobile. The bioluminescent lure may then be used to get males to search for her.

Herring also mentioned that other species of anglerfish such as Chaenophryne, a female Chaenophryne, might have differences in their caudal/orbital and/or ventral photophores. This makes it easier to identify potential partners. This mutualistic relationship allows species to share space and has positive effects for their reproductive ability. Some bacteria in the light organs of anglerfish have experienced a dramatic genomic decline compared with their non-anglerfish relatives. Their sequences have been altered in a way that prevents them from producing their own amino acids or absorbing certain nutrients. Both organisms have a stable, reliable relationship that has been mutually beneficial. There are usually pores around the light organ, which allows for free-flowing movement of microbes between tissues and outer waters. Candidatus photosmus is one of the species that depend on Anomalopidae to survive and grow. The anglerfish provides all the nutrients that the gammaproteobacteria need to thrive, so perhaps their metabolic abilities have been reduced.

Symbiotic relationships can be a useful adaptation that increases survival rates in deep-sea environments. Although there is still limited information and resources available to understand these interactions, it has been made easier to determine the benefits and losses of the species by studying the region, which includes hydrothermal vents, seeps, and other sites.


  • reubenyoung

    Reuben Young is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching in the United States for over 10 years, and has written extensively on educational topics. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and has been honored with several awards.



Reuben Young is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching in the United States for over 10 years, and has written extensively on educational topics. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and has been honored with several awards.

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