Epibiotic bacteria associated with tube worms living in the vicinity of deep sea hydrothermal vents of the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the Pacific Ocean were investigated for the ability to respire anaerobically on tellurite, tellurate, selenite, selenate, metavanadate and orthovana-date as terminal electron acceptors. Out of 107 isolates tested, 106 were capable of respira-tion on one or more of these oxides, indicating that metal(loid) oxide based respiration is not only much more prevalent in nature than is generally believed, but also is an important mode of energy generation in the habitat. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed the bacterial community to be rich and highly diverse, containing many potentially new species. Furthermore, it appears that the worms not only possess a close symbiotic relationship with chemolithotrophic sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, but also with the metal(loid) oxide transform-ers. Possibly they protect the worms through reduction of the toxic compounds that would otherwise be harmful to the host.
Maltman, C., Walter, G., & Yurkov, V. (2016). A diverse community of metal(loid) oxide respiring bacteria is associated with tube worms in the vicinity of the Juan de Fuca Ridge black smoker field. PLoS ONE, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149812