Mycoplasma-Like Organisms: Occurrence with the Larvae and Adults of a Marine Bryozoan

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Science  08 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4593, pp. 208-210
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4593.208


Larvae and adults of the marine bryozoan Watersipora cucullata invariably possess numerous extracellular mycoplasma-like, organisms. Mesodermally encapsulated groups of these atypical bacteria occur in the visceral coeloms of all colony members. In contrast, thousands of the symbionts are externally attached to each larva along a unique superficial groove; the microorganisms are internalized during the complex metamorphosis, thus inoculating the incipient colony. The consequences to the bryozoan of this association are not known.