Jump to Main Content
Cultivation Conditions Can Cause a Shift from Mutualistic to Parasitic Behavior in the Symbiosis Between Paramecium and Its Bacterial Symbiont Caedibacter taeniospiralis
- Schu, Maria Giovanna, Schrallhammer, Martina
- Current microbiology 2018 v.75 no.8 pp. 1099-1102
- Paramecium tetraurelia, bacteria, cytoplasm, mutualism, parasites, symbionts
- Caedibacter taeniospiralis is an obligate bacterial symbiont living in the cytoplasm of the ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia. Different studies analyzing the effect of this symbiont on its host’s growth and maximal cell density arrive at contradicting conclusions, labeling it as either a parasite or a mutualist. We address the question whether extrinsic factors such as medium and food organism are responsible for the opposing results. Thus, we performed fitness assays comparing previously applied cultivation conditions. By confirming the dependency of the parasitic and mutualistic behavior of C. taeniospiralis on the cultivation conditions of its host P. tetraurelia, we demonstrate the context-dependent impact on host fitness of this bacterium.