Bathyal and abyssal epibenthic holothurians have a layer of bacteria lying over the tentacular epidermis and below the cuticle. Thus the tentacles of deep-sea holothurians may provide ideal conditions for subcuticular bacteria. These bacteria appear to be regulated by phagocytosis, which, together with pinocytosis would facilitate transfer of bacterial metabolites to the holothurian. Their abundance suggests a previously unknown pathway for energy transformation and assimilation of particular significance in an environment where food is limiting.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Limnology and Oceanography|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1991|
Roberts, D., Billett, D. S. M., Hayes, G. E., & McCartney, G. (1991). Prokaryotes on the tentacles of deep-sea holothurians: A novel form of dietary supplementation. Limnology and Oceanography, 36(7), 1447-1452.