Prokaryotes have evolved a variety of mechanisms to help them thrive in aquatic habitats. Sheathed bacteria cluster within a tube that can attach to solid objects in favorable locations. Prosthecate bacteria produce extensions that maximize the absorptive surface area. Bdellovibrio species, bioluminescent bacteria, and Legionella species exploit nutrients provided by other organisms. Spirochetes and magnetotactic bacteria move by unusual mechanisms to more favorable locations. Some organisms form storage granules that contain compounds such as phosphate and sulfur.
■ What characteristic of Caulobacter species makes them an important model for research?
■ How do squid benefit from having a light organ colonized by luminescent bacteria?
■ The genomes of free-living spirochetes are larger than those of ones that live within an animal host. Why would this be so?
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