, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 25–36 | Cite as

Localization of attachment area of the symbiotic Chlorella variabilis of the ciliate Paramecium bursaria during the algal removal and reinfection

  • Yuuki KodamaEmail author


Chlorella spp. and ciliate Paramecium bursaria share a mutual symbiosis. However, both alga-removed P. bursaria and isolated symbiotic algae can grow independently. Additionally, mixing them experimentally can cause algal reinfection through host phagocytosis. Although the symbiotic algal localization beneath the host cell cortex is a prerequisite phenomenon for maintenance of the relationship of their endosymbiosis, how and where the algae locate beneath the host cell cortex remains unknown. To elucidate this phenomenon, algal distribution patterns during algal removal and reinfection were observed. During algal removal, algae at the host anterior cortex were easier to remove than at the posterior and ventral or dorsal cortex areas. During algal reinfection, the algae after separation from the host digestive vacuoles tended to localize beneath the host ventral or dorsal cortex more readily than that at other cortices. Algae that reinfected trichocyst-removed paramecia didn’t show this localization. Trichocyst-discharge experiments clarified that trichocysts of the anterior cortex are difficult to remove. In 14 strains of P. bursaria, some of the paramecia lacked their symbiotic algae at the anterior cortex. These observations demonstrate that symbiotic algae of P. bursaria are difficult to localize at the anterior cortex and that they are easy to remove from the area.


Chlorella spp. Endosymbiosis Localization Paramecium bursaria Trichocysts 



I thank Dr. Masahiro Fujishima, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Yamaguchi University, for his kind help in using the DIC microscope (Axio Imager; Carl Zeiss Inc.) and for fruitful advice for this research. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up (No. 22870023) and a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), by a grant from the Inoue Foundation for Science (Inoue Research Award for Young Scientists), by a grant from Narishige Zoological Science Award, and by a Grant for Basic Science Research Projects from The Sumitomo Foundation to Y. Kodama.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Life and Environmental ScienceShimane UniversityMatsue-shiJapan

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