Lucinid Symbiosis Genomics Hub

Lucinid clams host a nutritional symbiosis with chemosynthetic sulfide-oxidizing bacteria within gill epithelial cells. Their ancient age and unmatched diversity make them excellent models for the evolution of host-microbe associations.

Their relative simplicity (one host, one symbiont) and experimental tractability (can be kept and bred in aquaria) make them ideal for investigating molecular host-microbe interactions. Their unique ability to colonize almost the entire range of chemosynthetic habitats (wood, vents, seeps, mangroves, seagrasses, reef sediments) provides unmatched potential for understanding how environments drive symbioses, and how symbioses shape environments. Finally, their intimate interactions with their biotic and abiotic environment mean that they have unparalleled ecological relevance.

We are an international hub of researchers with diverse backgrounds. We use a broad range of methods including state-of-the-art genomics to understand the evolution, function, and ecological roles of lucinid (and thyasirid) symbioses.

Initial hub partners: 


Associated partners and advisors:


  • Arnaud Tanguy (Station Biologique de Roscoff)
  • John Taylor and Emily Glover (em., Natural History Museum London, UK)
  • Jay Osvatic (University of Vienna)
  • Benedict Yuen (University of Vienna)
  • Audrey Paterson (University of Tennessee)


We're always looking to expand our network! Interested in joining us? Contact Jillian Petersen


Funded projects in our hub (examples):



Key publications:

© Laetitia Wilkins / Max Planck Gesellschaft