Nutrition in the Teredinidae family of wood-boring mollusks is sustained by cellulolytic/nitrogen fixing symbiotic bacteria of the Teredinibacter clade. The mangrove Teredinidae Neoteredo reynei is popularly used in the treatment of infectious diseases in the north of Brazil. In the present work, the symbionts of N. reynei, which are strictly confined to the host's gills, were conclusively identified as Teredinibacter turnerae. Symbiont variants obtained in vitro were able to grow using casein as the sole carbon/nitrogen source and under reduced concentrations of NaCl. Furthermore, cellulose consumption in T. turnerae was clearly reduced under low salt concentrations. As a point of interest, we hereby report first hand that T. turnerae in fact exerts antibiotic activity. Furthermore, this activity was also affected by NaCl concentration. Finally, T. turnerae was able to inhibit the growth of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, this including strains of Sphingomonas sp., Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus sciuri. Our findings introduce new points of view on the ecology of T. turnerae, and suggest new biotechnological applications for this marine bacterium.
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