Females have a special organ that houses protective bacteria for the jellylike coating
M. McFall-Ngai/PLOS Biology 2014
MADISON, Wis. — When eggs go bad, bacteria usually get the blame. But some bacteria help bobtail squid keep their eggs fresh.
Bacteria that female Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) deposit in the jelly surrounding their eggs can fight off a fungus called Fusarium keratoplasticum, Spencer Nyholm reported July 9 at the Beneficial Microbes Conference.
A specialized organ called the accessory nidamental gland is found only in female bobtail squid and other cephalopods. The organ houses bacteria, mostly varieties of Rhodobacteraceae and Verrucomicrobia, and helps coat eggs with a thick layer of protective jelly impregnated with the microbes.
Nyholm, of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and colleagues treated squid eggs with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. The eggs grew