Skip to main content

Well-established mutualistic associations between ciliates and prokaryotes might be more widespread and diversified than so far supposed

The full text article is temporarily unavailable.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

Four different associations between ciliates of the family Euplotidae and bacteria have been studied. The ectosymbiotic relationship between ciliates of the genus Euplotidium and epixenosomes, (bacteria related to Verrucomicrobia), offers cues for ecological and evolutionary studies. Epixenosomes, although not vital for their host, confer on them a selective advantage, i.e. defense against predation. Epixenosomes have a compartmentalized cell and possess microtubule-like structures. Interestingly, the presence of two tubulin-like genes has been reported in members of the free-living verrucomicrobial genus Prosthecobacter. We obtained evidence that well-known Polynucleobacter bacteria, upon which a group of fresh-water Euplotes species depends, interfere with the glycogen metabolism of their hosts. Euplotes magicirratus is no longer able to digest food-organisms and is destined to die, once deprived of its specific prokaryotic endosymbiont, likely a new species of the alpha-proteobacterial genus Devosia. A further intriguing finding is the regular presence of rickettsiae in the cytoplasm of a marine Diophrys species. This is the first report of these bacteria in protozoa. This short list suggests that specialized mutualism is more widespread in the phylum than so far supposed.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Etologia, Ecologia, Evoluzione, Universit√† di Pisa via A. Volta 4, 56126 Pisa, Italy;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 December 2003

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more