|Project Name||Alvinella pompejana Epibiont Metagenome|
|Institution||University of Delaware/Desert Research Institute|
The deep-sea hydrothermal vent polychaete Alvinella pompejana maintains a diverse microbial consortia on the worm's dorsal integument that is dominated (>95%) by members of the epsilon Proteobacteria. This unique symbiosis appears to exist in an extreme biotope characterized by a steep thermal gradient (20-80 deg C), little to no oxygen, and high concentrations of heavy metals. It is likely that such an environment would impose strong selective pressures on the symbiont/host association.
The microbial symbiont community was isolated from the back of the deep sea hydrothermal vent polychaete worm, Alvinella pompejana, collected from the East Pacific Rise (9 deg 50.4', 104 deg 17.4' W) at a depth of 2500m.