AB 1:225-238 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00024

Bacterial symbionts and mineral deposits in the branchial chamber of the hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata: relationship to moult cycle

Laure Corbari1,*, Magali Zbinden2, Marie-Anne Cambon-Bonavita3, Françoise Gaill2, Philippe Compère1

1Université de Liège, Laboratoire de Morphologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive, Unité de Morphologie Ultrastructurale, Allée de la Chimie, 3, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2UMR CNRS 7138 ‘Systématique, Adaptation et Evolution’, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 7 Quai St Bernard, Bâtiment A, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
3Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie des Extrêmophiles, IFREMER, Centre de Brest, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France

ABSTRACT: The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata is considered a primary consumer that dominates the fauna of most Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal ecosystems. The shrimps harbour in their gill chamber an important ectosymbiotic community of chemoautotrophic bacteria associated with iron oxide deposits. The settlement and development of this ectosymbiosis was investigated using microscopy techniques (light microscopy, LM; and scanning, transmission and environmental scanning electron microscopy: SEM and ESEM, respectively) for shrimps from 2 different vent fields (Rainbow, 36°14.0’N and TAG, 26°08.0’N). The results revealed a bacterial re-colonisation after each exuviation and a development of the bacterial community in 5 steps in relation to the moult stages, which were used as a reference time scale. In 287 shrimps from both vent fields, pre-ecdysial stages prevailed in the population, suggesting a short anecdysis and high moulting rate, probably to renew the ectosymbiosis. Comparisons with moult cycles of littoral shrimps suggest that the interval between successive exuviations in R. exoculata may be as short as 10 d. The colours of R. exoculata result from accumulation of iron oxide, which forms a bacteria-associated mineral crust in the gill chambers. The close correspondence between moult stages, the development of the ectosymbiont community and shrimp colours indicate that colour could be used to rapidly determine shrimp moult stages.


KEY WORDS: Hydrothermal vents · Shrimp · Moult cycle · Ectosymbiosis · Iron oxides


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Cite this article as: Corbari L, Zbinden M, Cambon-Bonavita M, Gaill F, Compère P (2008) Bacterial symbionts and mineral deposits in the branchial chamber of the hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata: relationship to moult cycle. Aquat Biol 1:225-238. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00024

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