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A trophosome is an organ found in some animals that houses symbiotic bacteria that provide food for their host. Trophosomes are located in the coelomic cavity in the vestimentiferan tube worms (Sibloglinidae, e.g. the giant tube worm Riftia pachyptila) and in symbiotic flatworms of the genus Paracatenula.[Ref 1] In both these animals, the symbiotic bacteria that live in the trophosome oxidize sulfur or sulfide found in the worm's environment and produce organic molecules by carbon dioxide fixation that the hosts can use for nutrition and as an energy source.[Ref 2] This process is known as chemosynthesis or chemolithoautotrophy.

See also[edit]

  • Bacteriome - organ found in some insects that contains endosymbiotic bacteria


  1. ^ Gruber-Vodicka, H. R.; Dirks, U.; Leisch, N.; Baranyi, C.; Stoecker, K.; Bulgheresi, S.; Heindl, N. R.; Horn, M.; Lott, C.; Loy, A.; Wagner, M.; Ott, J. (27 June 2011). "Paracatenula, an ancient symbiosis between thiotrophic Alphaproteobacteria and catenulid flatworms". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (29): 12078–12083. doi:10.1073/pnas.1105347108. PMC 3141929. PMID 21709249.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Somero, G.N. Symbiotic Exploitation of Hydrogen Sulfide. Physiology (2), 3-6, 1987.

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