Polar Biology

, Volume 42, Issue 12, pp 2305–2312 | Cite as

Bacterial endosymbiont of Oligobrachia sp. (Frenulata) from an active mud volcano in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

  • Yung Mi LeeEmail author
  • Hyun-Ju Noh
  • Dong-Hun Lee
  • Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Young Keun Jin
  • Charles Paull
Short Note


Siboglinid tubeworms of the genus Oligobrachia that thrive in obligatory association with endosymbionts have been predominantly observed in Arctic and high-latitude Atlantic cold seeps. Metabolic features of endosymbionts provide fundamental understanding for the survival strategy of tubeworms in cold seeps. However, no information on the bacterial endosymbionts of tubeworms from the Canadian Beaufort Sea has been available until now. In this study, we investigated the phylogeny and metabolic potential of a bacterial endosymbiont of siboglinid tubeworms from an active mud volcano in the Canadian Beaufort Sea using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The siboglinid tubeworm shared 99.9% 18S rRNA gene sequence similarity with Oligobrachia haakonmosbiensis and 99.7–99.8% mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit I gene similarity with members of Oligobrachia sp. CPL-clade and was designated ‘Oligobrachia sp. BS1.’ The endosymbiont of Oligobrachia sp. BS1, which belongs to the Gammaproteobacteria, was most closely related to endosymbionts of Oligobrachia sp. CPL-clade, revealing the close relationships between the endosymbionts and their hosts. The bacterial endosymbiont of Oligobrachia sp. BS1 contained the key gene required for sulfur oxidation, aprA gene encoding the α-subunit of adenosine 1,5-phosphosulfate reductase, suggesting that this endosymbiont is capable of using sulfide as an energy source. The bacterial endosymbiont of an Oligobrachia species from an active mud volcano in the Canadian Beaufort Sea presented here expands our knowledge of the identities and thiotrophic metabolism of endosymbionts that are associated with hosts that dominate a wide range of methane seep habitats in the Arctic.


Siboglinid tubeworm Oligobrachia Endosymbiont Canadian Beaufort Sea Arctic aprA gene 



This research was supported by the Korea Polar Research Institute (Grant Nos. PM17050 and PM19050), the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion (Grant No. 20160247), and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. We thank the captain and crew of RV ARAON for their support at sea. We are very grateful to Dale Graves, Frank Flores, and Roberto Gwiazda at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute for the operation of the remotely operated vehicle and sample collection. We also thank Yeonjin Choi, Sang-Hee Kim, and Binu M. Tripathi of the Korea Polar Research Institute for providing maps, help in removing the worms from tubes, and stimulating discussions. We thank Janine Miller, PhD, from Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yung Mi Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hyun-Ju Noh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dong-Hun Lee
    • 3
  • Jung-Hyun Kim
    • 1
  • Young Keun Jin
    • 1
  • Charles Paull
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Polar Life SciencesKorea Polar Research InstituteIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Inha UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Hanyang UniversityAnsanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Monterey Bay Aquarium Research InstituteMoss LandingUSA

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