Biological rhythms in the deep-sea hydrothermal mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus

Biological rhythms are a fundamental property of life. The deep ocean covers 66% of our planet surface and is one of the largest biomes. The deep sea has long been considered as an arrhythmic environment because sunlight is totally absent below 1,000 m depth. In the present study, we have sequenced the temporal transcriptomes of a deep-sea species, the ecosystem-structuring vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus. We reveal that tidal cycles predominate in the transcriptome and physiology of mussels fixed directly at hydrothermal vents at 1,688 m depth at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, whereas daily cycles prevail in mussels sampled after laboratory acclimation. We identify B. azoricus canonical circadian clock genes, and show that oscillations observed in deep-sea mussels could be either a direct response to environmental stimulus, or be driven endogenously by one or more biological clocks. This work generates in situ insights into temporal organisation in a deep-sea organism.

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Mat Audrey, Sarrazin Jozee, Markov Gabriel V., Apremont Vincent, Dubreuil Christine, Eché Camille, Fabioux Caroline, Klopp Christophe, Sarradin Pierre-Marie, Tanguy Arnaud, Huvet Arnaud, Matabos Marjolaine (2020). Biological rhythms in the deep-sea hydrothermal mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus. Nature Communications. 11 (1). 3454 (12p.).,

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