Pigmentation biosynthesis influences the microbiome associated with sea urchins

Gary Wessel, Masato Kiyomoto, Adam Reitzel & Tyler Carrier
Organisms living on the seafloor are subject to encrustations by a wide variety of animal, plants, and microbes. Sea urchins, however, thwart this covering. Despite having a sophisticated immune system, there is no clear mechanism that allows sea urchins to remain clean. Here, by using CRISPR/Cas9, we test the hypothesis that pigmentation biosynthesis in sea urchin spines influences their interactions with microbes in vivo. We have three primary findings. First, the microbiome of sea urchin...
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