Goo-making genes help luminescent bacteria colonize symbiotic partner
BOSTON — Making mucus is nothing to sneeze at for a tiny Hawaiian squid.
Young bobtail squids secrete the goo to attract light-emitting bacteria, which swim inside the squid and take up residence, helping it hide from predators. Now researchers have learned that the bacteria make their own mucus, a slimy matrix of polysaccharides. Clues about which bacterial genes are involved in the goo-making suggest that the slime is critical for successful squid colonization, scientists reported June 3 at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
“This finding that polysaccharides are critical for colonizing is totally new,&