Extrachromosomal Elements of Extrachromosomal Elements of Paramecium and Their Extrachromosomal Elements

  • Robert L. Quackenbush
  • Betty Jo Cox
  • Joseph A. Kanabrocki
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 40)


Members of the bacterial genus Caedibacter (commonly known as kappa particles) are obligate endosymbionts of paramecia. They confer killer traits upon their ciliate hosts, and, if one uses the term loosely, these bacteria can be considered to be extrachromosomal elements of killer paramecia. In fact, Caedibacter members were originally characterized as cytoplasmic genetic elements by T.M. Sonneborn in 1943 (21). In the belief that these bacteria were cytoplasmic genes, Sonneborn designated them as kappa in keeping with the convention at that time for naming cytoplasmic genetic elements. Sonneborn’s work on kappa is considered to be classic and had considerable impact on the development of modern biology, since it influenced researchers to consider the possible existence of extrachromosomal genetic elements in other biological systems. Subsequent cytological and genetic analyses of killer paramecia demonstrated the bacterial nature of kappa particles which now comprise the genus Caedibacter (6,7,9,10,13).


Body Production Fragment Pattern Extra Sequence Bacterial Endosymbiont Refractile Body 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Quackenbush
    • 1
  • Betty Jo Cox
    • 1
  • Joseph A. Kanabrocki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of South Dakota School of MedicineVermillionUSA

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