Glowing squid’s genome sheds light on how animals and microbes evolve to work together

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
2-25-2019 unnamed file
Hawaiian bobtail squid. Image credit: Our Breathing Planet

Every evening, nocturnal Hawaiian bobtail squids … emerge from their burrows in shallow waters of the Pacific to hunt for shrimp. These soft-bodied, golf ball-size cephalopods don’t have much to protect them … . So they rely on another organism to help out: the bacterium Vibrio fischeri. This microbe lives in an organ embedded in the squid’s ink sac and emits light throughout the night to match the illumination of the moon.

“It is basically acting like a little invisibility cloak for the squid,” said Jamie Foster, a microbiologist at the Space Life Sciences Lab at the University of Florida. In return for help with camouflage that protects against predators, the squid offers up sugars to feed the bacteria and lure them into the organ.

Related article:  Puzzling over the mysteries of human pregnancy: Why is labor so long and dangerous?

This mutually beneficial relationship … is one of numerous examples of how multicellular animals and microbes work together to increase their chances of survival.

Now, Foster and an international team of researchers have mapped the genome of a Hawaiian bobtail squid, creating a new tool to explore these questions. …  Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the findings lay the groundwork for future studies of animal-microbe interactions, including those in humans.

Read full, original post: New Squid Genome Shines Light on Symbiotic Evolution

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

The U.S. averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s a 21% improvement over the ...
a bee covered in pollen x

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists