In a Tiny Squid, Bacterial Toxin Governs Organ Development

EurekAlert!, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

This EurekAlert! kids news article features information about the toxic molecule, tracheal cytotoxin, which is responsible for forming a light producing organ in the Bobtail squid-bacteria symbiosis. This toxin has been discovered to have both good and bad effects depending on the type of bacteria and host involved in the symbiosis: on one hand, it could cause disease and massive tissue damage, while on the other, it is vitally important in organ development. These recently discovered effects may force biologists to re-think the relationship between the world's many microorganisms and their host plants/animals.

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Subject: Biology:Ecology:Symbiotic Relations, Habitats:Marine, Biology:Microbiology, Microbiology:Microbiology and Health
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), High School (9-12), Intermediate (3-5)
Ocean Environments: Shallow Sea Floor/Continental Shelf, Deep Waters, Surface Waters
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:EcologyKeyword: Hawaiian bobtail squid