(This article was published on EurekAlert! on February 19, 2021)


A research team led by Prof. Qian Peiyuan, Head and Chair Professor from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)’s Department of Ocean Science and David von Hansemann Professor of Science, has published their cutting-edge findings of symbiotic mechanisms of a deep-sea vent snail (Gigantopelta aegis) in the scientific journal Nature Communications. They discovered that Gigantopelta snail houses both sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and methane-oxidizing bacteria inside its esophageal gland cells (part of digestive system) as endosymbionts. By decoding the genomes of both snail host and two symbionts, Prof. Qian’s team disclosed a novel dual symbiosis system and the molecular adaptation to the extreme environment, gaining a new understanding of the origin of life on Earth. Read More... 


Gigantopelta aegis (Photo credit: Dr. CHEN Chong from JAMSTEC)


A large quantity of Gigantopelta aegis snails living in ‘Tiamat’ chimney in the Longqi vent field on the Southwest Indian Ridge
Scientific Breakthroughs & Discoveries