Diversity and function of prevalent symbiotic marine bacteria in the genus Endozoicomonas. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Endozoicomonas bacteria are emerging as extremely diverse and flexible symbionts of numerous marine hosts inhabiting oceans worldwide. Their hosts range from simple invertebrate species, such as sponges and corals, to complex vertebrates, such as fish. Although widely distributed, the functional role of Endozoicomonas within their host microenvironment is not well understood. In this review, we provide a summary of the currently recognized hosts of Endozoicomonas and their global distribution. Next, the potential functional roles of Endozoicomonas, particularly in light of recent microscopic, genomic, and genetic analyses, are discussed. These analyses suggest that Endozoicomonas typically reside in aggregates within host tissues, have a free-living stage due to their large genome sizes, show signs of host and local adaptation, participate in host-associated protein and carbohydrate transport and cycling, and harbour a high degree of genomic plasticity due to the large proportion of transposable elements residing in their genomes. This review will finish with a discussion on the methodological tools currently employed to study Endozoicomonas and host interactions and review future avenues for studying complex host-microbial symbioses.

publication date

  • October 2016