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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Nov 13;82(2):659-70. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02680-15. Print 2016 Jan 15.

"Candidatus Finniella" (Rickettsiales, Alphaproteobacteria), Novel Endosymbionts of Viridiraptorid Amoeboflagellates (Cercozoa, Rhizaria).

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Department of Botany, Cologne Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Department of Botany, Cologne Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


The Rickettsiales (Alphaproteobacteria) are obligate intracellular bacteria that colonize a wide range of eukaryotic hosts, including diverse metazoa and protists. Here, we characterize rickettsial endosymbionts discovered in the cytoplasm of the algivorous amoeboflagellates Viridiraptor invadens and Orciraptor agilis (Viridiraptoridae, Cercozoa, Rhizaria), supplying evidence of free-living, phagotrophic members of the Cercozoa serving as hosts for Rickettsiales. According to 16S rRNA gene phylogenies, the bacteria represent two closely related but distinct genotypes within a deep-branching rickettsial clade, which contains the genera "Candidatus Odyssella," "Candidatus Paracaedibacter," and "Candidatus Captivus." Using the full-cycle rRNA approach, we detected the novel bacteria in four of nine viridiraptorid strains tested. Furthermore, two specific oligonucleotide probes with a single-nucleotide-difference discriminated both bacterial genotypes by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). We establish the candidate species "Candidatus Finniella inopinata" (found in Viridiraptor invadens) and "Candidatus Finniella lucida" (found in Orciraptor agilis) for the novel bacteria and propose a new, provisional family of Rickettsiales, "Candidatus Paracaedibacteraceae."

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