The Family Holosporaceae

  • Huarrisson Azevedo Santos
  • Carlos Luiz Massard
Reference work entry


The Holosporaceae family (Görtz H-D, Schmidt HJ (2005) Genus Holospora. In: Garrity et al. (eds) Bergey’s manual of systematic of bacteriology, vol 2, part C, 2nd edn. Springer, New York, pp 149–151) in the Rickettsiales order (Gieszczykiewicz 1939) includes a group of gram-negative bacteria without motility and obligatory symbionts. Routinely, these bacteria occupy specific compartments in their host cells, which are generally rich in metabolites (Heckmann, K. Görtz H-D (1991) Procaryotic symbionts of ciliates. In: Balows A, Trüper HG, Dworkin M, Harder W, Schleifer K-H (eds) The prokaryotes, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York, pp 3865–3890; Fokin and Karpov, Endocyt Cell Res 11:81–94, 1995). Individuals of this family are mostly endosymbionts of ciliated protozoa of the genus Paramecium (Müller 1772) that parasitize, according to the species, the macronucleus and micronucleus. The family has only one consolidated genus, Holospora, and others seven genera considered to be incertae sedis in this family, including Caedibacter, Lyticum, Odyssella, Paracedibacter, Pseudocaedibacter, Pseudolyticum, and Tectibacter (Fujishima and Fujita, J Cell Sci 76:179–187, 1985). However, Lyticum was recently moved to the Midichloriaceae family (Boscaro et al., Microb Ecol 65:255–267, 2013). Among those cited, Holospora and Caedibacter are commonly studied. Thus, H. obtusa, H. caryophila, and H. curviuscula are parasitize the macronucleus of P. caudatum and P. biaurelia; H. elegans, H. undulate, and H. accuminata can be found in micronucleus of P. caudatum and P. bursaria. The specificity for the host does not occur only by the success of cell penetration, which demonstrates that the specificity for a habitat is influenced by nuclear genes (Fujishima and Fujita, J Cell Sci 76:179–187, 1985). Its distribution is still not clearly defined, but it is believed to be associated with the distribution of its host (Fokin et al., Eur J Protistol 32:19–24, 1996).


Spotted Fever Food Vacuole Spotted Fever Group Digestive Vacuole Infectious Form 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huarrisson Azevedo Santos
    • 1
  • Carlos Luiz Massard
    • 2
  1. 1.Departmento de Epidemiologia e Saúde PºblicaUniversidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)SeropédicaBrazil
  2. 2.Departmento de ParasitologiaUniversidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)SeropédicaBrazil

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