Stenotrophomonas-like bacteria are widespread symbionts in cone snail venom ducts

Joshua P. Torres, Maria Diarey Tianero, Jose Miguel D. Robes, Jason C. Kwan, Jason S. Biggs, Gisela P. Concepcion, Baldomero M. Olivera, Margo G. Haygood, Eric W. Schmidta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Scopus citations


    Cone snails are biomedically important sources of peptide drugs, but it is not known whether snail-associated bacteria affect venom chemistry. To begin to answer this question, we performed 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of eight cone snail species, comparing their microbiomes with each other and with those from a variety of other marine invertebrates. We show that the cone snail microbiome is distinct from those in other marine invertebrates and conserved in specimens from around the world, including the Philippines, Guam, California, and Florida. We found that all venom ducts examined contain diverse 16S rRNA gene sequences bearing closest similarity to Stenotrophomonas bacteria. These sequences represent specific symbionts that live in the lumen of the venom duct, where bioactive venom peptides are synthesized.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere01418-17
    JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
    Issue number23
    StatePublished - 2017


    • Cone snail
    • Natural products
    • Symbiosis
    • Venom duct

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    • Food Science
    • Biotechnology
    • Ecology


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