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Promiscuous and specific bacterial symbiont acquisition in the amoeboid genus Nuclearia (Opisthokonta)


Dirren, Sebastian; Posch, Thomas (2016). Promiscuous and specific bacterial symbiont acquisition in the amoeboid genus Nuclearia (Opisthokonta). FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 92(8):fiw105.

Abstract

We isolated 17 strains of the amoeboid genus Nuclearia (Opisthokonta) from five Swiss lakes. Eight of these nucleariid isolates were associated with bacterial endosymbionts and/or ectosymbionts. Amoebae were characterized morphologically and by their 18S rRNA genes. Phylogeny based on molecular data resulted in four established monophyletic branches and two new clusters. A heterogeneous picture emerged by highlighting nucleariids with associated bacteria. Apart from one cluster which consisted of only isolates with and three groups of amoebae without symbionts, we also found mixed clusters. The picture got even more 'blurred' by regarding the phylogeny of symbiotic bacteria. Although seven different bacterial strains could be identified, it seems that we still are only scratching the surface of symbionts' diversity. Furthermore, types of symbioses might be different depending on host species. Strains of Nuclearia thermophila harboured the same endosymbiont even when isolated from different lakes. This pointed to a specific and obligate interaction. However, two isolates of N. delicatula were associated with different endosymbiotic bacteria. Here the symbiont acquisition seemed to be rather promiscuous. This behaviour regarding symbiotic associations is especially remarkable considering the phylogenetic position of these basal opisthokonts.

Abstract

We isolated 17 strains of the amoeboid genus Nuclearia (Opisthokonta) from five Swiss lakes. Eight of these nucleariid isolates were associated with bacterial endosymbionts and/or ectosymbionts. Amoebae were characterized morphologically and by their 18S rRNA genes. Phylogeny based on molecular data resulted in four established monophyletic branches and two new clusters. A heterogeneous picture emerged by highlighting nucleariids with associated bacteria. Apart from one cluster which consisted of only isolates with and three groups of amoebae without symbionts, we also found mixed clusters. The picture got even more 'blurred' by regarding the phylogeny of symbiotic bacteria. Although seven different bacterial strains could be identified, it seems that we still are only scratching the surface of symbionts' diversity. Furthermore, types of symbioses might be different depending on host species. Strains of Nuclearia thermophila harboured the same endosymbiont even when isolated from different lakes. This pointed to a specific and obligate interaction. However, two isolates of N. delicatula were associated with different endosymbiotic bacteria. Here the symbiont acquisition seemed to be rather promiscuous. This behaviour regarding symbiotic associations is especially remarkable considering the phylogenetic position of these basal opisthokonts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:06 Feb 2017 13:44
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 12:00
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0168-6496
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiw105
PubMed ID:27199347

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