Many cooks don’t spoil the broth: Manifold symbionts prepare their host for any eventuality

Deep-sea mussels, which rely on cooperative symbiotic bacteria for their food, harbor a surprisingly high diversity of these bacterial “cooks”: Up to 16 different bacterial strains live together in the mussel’s gills, each with its own abilities and strengths. Thanks to this diversity of symbiotic bacterial partners, the mussel is prepared for all eventualities. The mussel bundles up an all-round carefree package, a German-Austrian research team including Jillian Petersen from the University of Vienna and Rebecca Ansorge and Nicole Dubilier from the Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology now reports in Nature Microbiology.

Read more