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New Species Of Bacterium Found In The Gullmarsfjord

April 19, 2010

Researchers at the Sven Lov©n Centre for Marine Sciences at the University of Gothenburg have discovered a brand new species of bacterium found only in the Gullmarsfjord north of Gothenburg. The bacterium has been named Endoxenoturbella lov©nii to honor the newly founded marine research center.

Researcher Matthias Obst from the Department of Zoology is one of many marine scientists based at the Sven Lov©n Centre for Marine Sciences, a new institute owned by the University of Gothenburg that includes two modern marine research stations in Kristineberg outside Lysekil and on Tjärnö outside Strömstad.

Brand-new species

In a scientific article, he and his colleagues from the Lov©n Centre in Kristineberg describe a brand-new species of bacterium, an endosymbiotic prokaryote living in the gut of a marine worm called Xenoturbella, a creature also unique to the Gullmarsfjord.

Honoring name

As discoverers, Obst and his colleagues had the honor of naming the new bacterium: “To acknowledge the Lov©n Centre and its importance as a base for marine biological research, we’ve decided that the species will be called Endoxenoturbella lov©nii,” he says.

Unique animal

The bacteria’s host, the Xenoturbella worm, has the size of a thumbnail and possesses a unique body plan, with no brain and no reproductive or sensory organs. This unique creature is invaluable for studies of the early evolution of the animal kingdom, and has drawn researchers from all over the world to the Sven Lov©n Centre for Marine Sciences in Kristineberg ever since it was discovered.

Image Caption: The unique Xenoturbella, found only in the Gullmarsfjord, is the host for the new bacterium. Credit: Mattias Obst, University of Gothenburg

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