Queen of Trees
We will be watching this wonderful video in class. It is about an ecosystem in which a sycamore fig and a fig wasp play a major role in supporting the organisms of this community.
Yeti Crab of Deep Sea Vents - 'Gardening' chemotrophic bacteria
UW research studies symbiotic relationships with leafcutter ants
Cameron Currie, UW-Madison researcher, has discovered not 2, but 4 distinct species living symbiotically. It's a truly wonderful example of mutualism. Additional information may be found at this Science360 link, which is also from 2010. Undoubtedly, you will be able to find more recent news on this relationship.
First known endosymbiotic relationship
Click on the picture for more information
There is not a lot of detail on this relationship for a report, however, it's interesting because it's claimed to be the first endosymbiotic relationship discovered.
UW-Madison researcher studies glowing squid
Phosphorescent bacteria enable this Hawaiian bobtail squid to glow. The link to Science 360 is 2 years old. There is more recent information on this to be found. Interestingly, this bacteria has shown up in some surprising places, such as the glow-in-the-dark pork one woman found in her refrigerator one night.
Lice and humans (and co-evolution)
Click on picture to view NOVA website with video
Click on the photo to view NOVA website with video
Symbiotic relationship helps coral reefs survive environmental stress
Click on this photo to a NSF link discussing this endosymbiotic relationship
In this story, the choice of algae holds the key to survival
Marine symbiosis analogous to endosymbiotic relationship that led to evolution of chloroplasts in plants
A new endosymbiotic (where one organism lives within another) relationship between a marine photosynthesizing algae and a nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria was recently elucidated. What is most interesting is that the cyanobacteria no longer has functional genes necessary for photosynthesis that is typical of most cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are also the major marine organism responsible for nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere. Nitrogen is a key molecule in the biosynthesis of proteins and nucleic acids such as DNA. Because this cyanobacteria lacks key metabolic pathways, it relies on its host algae to provide the carbon that photosynthesis reaps from the atmosphere. In turn, it fixes nitrogen for its host. All photosynthetic organisms utilize atmospheric carbon (a basic building block for energy biomolecules such as sugars) , but not all organisms are able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. What is interesting about this relationship is the loss of the genes that are typical of cyanobacteria for photosynthesis. This suggests an early step in a similar evolutionary path that led to chloroplasts in plant cells, that are believed to be the results of just such a symbiotic relationship as is described here. For more information, go to this link.