Advertisement

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 160, Issue 6, pp 461–470 | Cite as

Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi nov. gen., nov. sp.: variable-diameter composite spirochete from microbial mats

  • Richardo Guerrero
  • Jon Ashen
  • Mónica Solé
  • Lynn Margulis
Original Papers

Abstract

Large (up to 100 μm long), loosely coiled, free-living spirochetes with variable diameters (from 0.4 to 3 μm in the same cell) were seen at least 40 times between August 1990 and January 1993. These spirochetes were observed in mud water and enrichment media from highly specific habitats in intertidal evaporite flats at three disjunct localities, one in Spain and two in Mexico. All three are sites of commerical saltworks. Associated with Microcoleus chthonoplastes, the large spirochetes from Spain display phototaxis and a composite organization. Shorter and smaller-diameter spirochetes are seen inside both healthy and spent periplasm of larger ones. Small spirochetes attached to large ones have been observed live. From two to twelve spirochete protoplasmic cylinders were seen inside a single common outer membrane. A distinctive granulated cytoplasm in which the granules are of similar diameter (20–32 nm) to that of the flagella (26 nm) was present. Granule diameters were measured in thin section and in negatively-stained whole-mount preparations. Based on their ultrastructure, large size, variable diameter, number of flagella (3 to 6), and phototactic behavior these unique spirochetes are formally named Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Under anoxic (or low oxygen) conditions they formed blooms in mixed culture in media selective for spirochetes. Cellobiose was the major carbon source in 80% seawater, the antibiotic rifampicin was added, mat from the original field site was present and tubes were incubated in the light at from 18–31 °C. Within 1–2 weeks populations of the large spirochete developed at 25 °C but they could not be transferred to fresh medium.

Key words

Borrelia Composite spirochetes Cristispira Granulated cytoplasm Hollandina Phototactic spirochetes Microcoleus chthonoplastes Pillotaceae Spirochete morphometrics Spirochete ultrastructure Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashen JA (1992) Ultrastructure of new microbial mat and termite spirochetes and the symbiotic origin of undulipodia. Master of Science Thesis. University of Massachusetts, Department of Botany, Amherst, MA.Google Scholar
  2. Bermudes D, Chase D, Margulis L (1988) Morphology as a basis for taxonomy of large spirochetes symbiotic in wood-eating cockroaches and termites: Pillotina gen. nov., nom. rev.; Pillotina calotermitidis sp. nov., nom. rev.; Diplocalyx gen. nov., nom. rev.; Diplocalyx calotermitidis sp. nov., nom. rev.: Hollandina gen. nov., nom. rev.; Hollandina pterotermitidis sp. nov., nom. rev.; and Clevelandina reticulitermitidis gen. nov., sp. nov. Int J Syst Bacteriol 38: 291–302.Google Scholar
  3. Blakemore RP, Canale-Parola E (1973) Morphological and ecological characteristics of Spirochaeta plicatilis. Arch Mikrobiol 89: 273–289.Google Scholar
  4. Breznak JA (1984) Genus II. Cristispira Gross, 1910, 44. In: Krieg NR, Holt JG (eds) Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology, vol 1. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 46–49.Google Scholar
  5. Clements KD, Bullivant S (1991) An unusual symbiont from the gut of surgeonfishes may be the largest known prokaryote. J Bacteriol 173: 5359–5362.Google Scholar
  6. D'Amelio ED, Cohen Y, Des Marais DJ, (1989) Comparative functional ultrastructure of two hypersaline submerged cyanobacterial mats: Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico, and Solar Lake, Sinai, Egypt. In: Cohen Y, Rosenberg E (eds.) Microbial mats: physiological ecology of benthic microbial communities. Am Soc Microbiol, Washington DC, pp 97–113 (Even though not mentioned by the authors their Fig. 31 shows a mat spirochete in situ at too low a magnification to be properly identified).Google Scholar
  7. FracekJr SP, Stolz JF (1985) Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis sp. n. from a microbial mat community at Laguna Figueroa, Baja California Norte, Mexico. Arch Microbiol 142: 317–325.Google Scholar
  8. Holt SC (1978) Anatomy and chemistry of spirochetes. Bacteriol Rev 42: 114–160.Google Scholar
  9. Hovind-Hougen K, Birch Andersen A (1971) Electron microscopy of endoflagella and microtubules in Treponema reiteri. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand Sect B 79: 37–50.Google Scholar
  10. Hovind-Hougen K (1976) Determination by means of electron microscopy of morphological criteria of value for classification of some spirochetes, in particular treponemes. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand Sect B [Suppl] 255.Google Scholar
  11. Lapage SP, Sneath PHA, Lessel VBD, Seeliger HPR, Clark WA, (eds) (1975) International code of nomenclature of bacteria. 1975 revision. Am Soc Microbiol, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  12. Leschine SB, Canale-Parola E (1980) Rifampin as a selective agent for isolation of oral spirochetes. J Clin Microbiol 12: 792–795.Google Scholar
  13. Listgarten MA, Socransky SS (1964) Electron microscopy of axial fibrils outer envelope, and cell division of certain oral spirochetes. J Bacteriol 88: 1087–1103.Google Scholar
  14. Margulis L, Hinkle G (1992) Large symbiotic spirochetes: Clevelandina, Cristispira, Diplocalyx, Hollandina, and Pillotina. In: Balows A, Trüper HG, Dworkin M, Harder W, Schleifer K-H (eds) The prokaryotes. A handbook on the biology of bacteria: ecophysiology, isolation, identification, applications, vol 4, 2nd edn. Springer, New York Berlin Heidelberg, pp 3965–3978.Google Scholar
  15. Margulis L, Nault L, Sieburth JM (1991) Cristispira from oyster styles: complex morphology of large symbiotic spirochetes. Symbiosis 11: 1–17.Google Scholar
  16. Margulis L, Ashen JB, Solé M; Guerrero R (1993) Composite, large spirochetes from microbial mats: spirochete structure review. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 90: 6966–6970.Google Scholar
  17. Mir J, Martínez-Alonso M, Esteve I, Guerrero R (1991) Vertical stratification and microbial assemblage of a microbial mat in the Ebro Delta (Spain). FEMS Microbiol Ecol 86: 59–68.Google Scholar
  18. Paster BJ, Dewhirst FE, Weisburg WG, Tordoff LA, Fraser GJ, Hespell RB, Stanton TB, Zablen L, Mandelco L, Woese CR (1991) Phylogenetic analysis of the spirochetes. J Bacteriol 173: 6101–6109.Google Scholar
  19. Stolz JF (1990) Distribution of phototrophic microbes in the flat laminated microbial mat at Laguna Figueroa, Baja California, Mexico. BioSystems 23: 345–357.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richardo Guerrero
    • 1
  • Jon Ashen
    • 2
  • Mónica Solé
    • 3
  • Lynn Margulis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Morrill Science CenterUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyAutonomous University of MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations