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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2009 Aug;69(2):180-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00696.x. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

A cytological characterization of the parasitic action of ultramicrobacteria NF1 and NF3 of the genus Kaistia on chemoorganotrophic and phototrophic bacteria.

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Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Region, Russia.


Two strains (NF1 and NF3) of free-living chemoorganotrophic bacteria have been isolated from multiyear oil slime and Pedilanthus tithymaloides rhizosphere and ascribed to the genus Kaistia of the class Alphaproteobacteria on the basis of the nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA gene and phenotypic characteristics. These strains can be assigned to ultramicrobacteria as their populations are represented by two subpopulations: (1) ultrasmall cells, on average 200-300 nm in diameter and <0.1 microm(3) in volume, of up to 60% of the total number of cells in a population, and (2) cells 400-800 nm in diameter and 0.15-0.5 microm(3) in volume, of up to 40% of the total number of cells in a population. The interaction of the isolated ultramicrobacteria strains (IUMB) with different bacterial species has been studied in cocultures grown under starvation and in complete nutrient media. It has been found that IUMB can be facultative parasites on certain species of chemoorganotrophic and phototrophic bacteria. The interaction of IUMB with prey bacteria exhibits the extracellular type of parasitism and involves establishing stable cell-cell contacts between the parasites and their prey to cause destruction of host cells.

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