Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 367–374 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of Methanoplanus endosymbiosus sp. nov., an endosymbiont of the marine sapropelic ciliate Metopus contortus quennerstedt

  • J. J. A. van Bruggen
  • K. B. Zwart
  • J. G. F. Hermans
  • E. M. van Hove
  • C. K. Stumm
  • G. D. Vogels
Original Papers


Epifluorescence microscopy revealed the presence of a methanogenic bacterium as an endosymbiont in the sapropelic marine ciliate Metopus contortus. The in situ methanogenic activity of the symbiont could be demonstrated. The isolated endosymbiont was an irregular, disc-shaped bacterium with a diameter of 1.6–3.4 μm. It had a generation time of 7 or 12 hours on growth on H2/CO2 or formate, respectively. The temperature range for growth was between 16 and 36°C with an optimum at 32°C. The optimal pH range for growth was 6.8 to 7.3. Salts, with an optimum concentration of 0.25 M, and tungsten were required for growth. The mol% G+C was 38.7%. The cell envelope consisted of proteins and a glycoprotein with an apparent molecular weight of 110,000. Morphology, antigenic relationship and the G+C content established the isolate MC1 as a new species of the genus Methanoplanus, and the name Methanoplanus endosymbiosus is proposed.

Key words

Ciliate culture Endosymbiosis Interspecies hydrogen transfer Hydrogenosome Methanogenic bacteria Methanoplanus endosymbiosus sp. nov. Metopus contortus 





sodium dodecylsulfate


piperazine-N,N′-bis (2-ethane) sulfonic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. A. van Bruggen
    • 1
  • K. B. Zwart
    • 1
  • J. G. F. Hermans
    • 1
  • E. M. van Hove
    • 1
  • C. K. Stumm
    • 1
  • G. D. Vogels
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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