A Cellulolytic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Cultured from the Gland of Deshayes in Shipworms (Bivalvia: Teredinidae)

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Science  30 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4618, pp. 1401-1403
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4618.1401


A novel bacterium has been isolated in pure culture from the gland of Deshayes in six species of teredinid bivalves. It is the first bacterium known to both digest cellulose and fix nitrogen, and it is a participant in a unique symbiotic relation with shipworms that may explain how teredinids are able to use wood as their principal food source.