, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 51–59 | Cite as

No mutual symbiosis following infection of algae-free Paramecium bursaria with symbiotic algae from Mayorella viridis

  • Shion Kawai
  • Sotaro Araki
  • Yuuki Kodama


The amoeba, Mayorella viridis contains several hundred symbiotic green algae in its cytoplasm. Transmission electron microscopy revealed strong resemblance between symbiotic algae from M. viridis the symbiotic Chlorella sp. in the perialgal vacuoles of Paramecium bursaria and other ciliates. Although it is thought that the M. viridis and symbiotic algae could be model organisms for studying endosymbiosis between protists and green algae, few cell biological observations of the endosymbiosis between M. viridis and their symbiotic algae have been published. In this study, we characterized the specificity of endosymbiotic relationships between green algae and their hosts. Initially, we established stable cultures of M. viridis in KCM medium by feeding with Chlorogonium capillatum. Microscopic analyses showed that chloroplasts of symbiotic algae in M. viridis occupy approximately half of the algal cells, whereas those in P. bursaria occupy entire algal cells. The symbiotic algae in P. bursaria contain several small spherical vacuoles. The labeling of actin filaments using Acti-stain™ 488 Fluorescent Phalloidin revealed no relationship between host actin filaments and symbiotic algal localization, although the host mitochondria were localized around symbiotic algae. Symbiotic algae from M. viridis could infect algae-free P. bursaria but could not support P. bursaria growth without feeding, whereas the original symbiotic algae of P. bursaria supported its growth without feeding. These data indicated the specificity of endosymbiotic algae relationships in M. viridis and P. bursaria.


Algae Endosymbiosis Mayorella viridis Paramecium bursaria Phalloidin 



This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) [Number 26840119] from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to Y. Kodama. The authors thank the faculty of Life and Environmental Science at Shimane University for financial supports and Enago ( for the English language review.

Author Contributions

Yuuki Kodama conceived and designed the experiments, Shion Kawai and Sotarou Araki performed the experiments, and Yuuki Kodama wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Shion Kawai, Sotarou Araki, and Yuuki Kodama declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Life and Environmental ScienceShimane UniversityMatsue-shiJapan
  2. 2.Course of Biological Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Life and Environmental ScienceShimane UniversityMatsue-shiJapan

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