Indexed on: 01 Apr '03Published on: 01 Apr '03Published in: Integrative and comparative biology
The monospecific light organ association between the Hawaiian sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes and the marine luminous bacterium Vibrio fischeri has been used as a model for the study of the most common type of coevolved animal-bacterial interaction; i.e., the association of Gram-negative bacteria with the extracellular apical surfaces of polarized epithelia. Analysis of the squid-vibrio symbiosis has ranged from characterizations of the harvesting mechanisms by which the host ensures colonization by the appropriate symbiont to identification of bacteria-induced changes in host gene expression that accompany the establishment and maintenance of the relationship. Studies of this model have been enhanced by extensive collaboration with microbiologists, who are able to manipulate the genetics of the bacterial symbiont. The results of our studies have indicated that initiation and persistence of the association requires a complex, reciprocal molecular dialogue between these two phylogenetically distant partners.