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Exp Cell Res. 1988 Jan;174(1):49-57.

Characterization of Caedibacter endonucleobionts from the macronucleus of Paramecium caudatum and the identification of a mutant with blocked R-body synthesis.

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Zoologisches Institut der Universität, Münster, Federal Republic of Germany.


Cytology, DNA and host-symbiont relationships of x-like endosymbionts from Paramecium caudatum are described. The symbionts (Caedibacter caryophila, sp. nov.) live in the macronuclei of their hosts. They confer the killer trait upon their hosts and appear well adapted to their endonucleobiotic way of life. R bodies (proteinaceous ribbons associated with killing) are produced, but differ significantly from any of the four R-body classes previously described. C. caryophila and their R bodies were isolated. DNA was extracted from purified symbionts and used to demonstrate that one P. caudatum line harbors a natural mutant which is deficient in R-body production. Melting studies indicate a GC content of 34.6%. No sequence homology between the C. caryophila DNA and the coding sequence for type 51 R-body production was observed. C. caryophila is parasitic, causing the death of its hosts in starving cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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