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J Bacteriol. 1970 Oct;104(1):453-61.

Lysis of blue-green algae by myxobacter.


Enrichment from local fishponds led to the isolation of a bacterium capable of lysing many species of unicellular and filamentous blue-green algae, as well as certain bacteria. The isolate is an aflagellate, motile rod which moves in a gliding, flexuous manner; the organism is capable of digesting starch and agar, but not cellulose and gelatin. Its deoxyribonucleic acid base pair composition (per cent guanine plus cytosine approximately 70) shows a close resemblance to that of the fruiting myxobacteria. Algae in lawns on agar plates were lysed rapidly by the myxobacter, but only limited and slow lysis occurred in liquid media, and no lysis took place when liquid cultures were shaken. No diffusible lytic factors would be demonstrated. Continuous observation of the lytic process under a phase-contrast microscope suggested that a close contact between the polar tip of the myxobacter and the alga is necessary for lysis. The lytic action is limited to the vegetative cells of the algae, whereas heterocysts are not affected. The gas vacuoles of the algal host are the only remnant visible after completion of digestion by the myxobacter.

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