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Association between luminous bacteria and Hydrozoa in the northern Ionian Sea

  • Cinzia Gravili (a1), Ferdinando Boero (a1) (a2), Pietro Alifano (a1) and Loredana Stabili (a1) (a3)


Several hydroid species live associated with many organisms, including bacteria. Hydroid–bacteria associations were searched for in twenty Hydrozoa species that were collected in the northern Ionian Sea and observed under blue light excitation. Of these, six showed high fluorescence on the outer perisarc, five appeared medium fluorescent, four were slightly fluorescent, and five did not show any fluorescence. Luminous bacteria were isolated and counted from the surface of the fluorescent hydroids. Their association with hydrozoan species could be explained by their feeding activity on the chitinous structures of the perisarc, as previous research on the hydroid Aglaophenia octodonta showed. Moreover, microalgae were always recovered together with luminous bacteria in the strongly, medium and slightly fluorescent hydroids. Further studies will be undertaken to characterize the luminous bacteria isolated from the surface of the examined hydrozoans as well as to better understand whether their interaction with hydroids is only related to chitin utilization or if their coexistence with microalgae in hydrozoans has an ecological meaning.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: C. Gravili, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, I-73100 Lecce, Italia email:


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Association between luminous bacteria and Hydrozoa in the northern Ionian Sea

  • Cinzia Gravili (a1), Ferdinando Boero (a1) (a2), Pietro Alifano (a1) and Loredana Stabili (a1) (a3)


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