Genetic consequences of population biology in chemoautotrophic tubeworms and clams

Andrew Peek, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
Wednesday, April 5, 2000

Chemoautotrophic microbes that depend on sulfide-rich waters are the base of hydrothermal-vent and cold-seep food chains. Some of these microbes, in the gamma-subdivision Proteobacteria, are symbiotic with various invertebrates. The symbiotic relationships between bacteria and invertebrates imposes population structure on these bacteria that can be recognized in the patterns of molecular evolutionary change in both the bacterial symbiont and the invertebrate host. Additionally, these patterns of evolutionary change differ between symbiotic bacteria that undergo maternal (vertical) versus those that undergo environmental (horizontal) transmission strategies.