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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 1995 Sep-Oct;42(5):452-6.

Transmissibility of bacterial endosymbionts between isolates of Acanthamoeba spp.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine SB-10, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195, USA.


Experimental transmission of two bacterial endosymbionts to symbiont-free isolates of Acanthamoeba spp. was studied to determine specificity of the host-symbiont relationship. Both symbionts originated from amoebic isolates displaying an identical mitochondrial DNA EcoRI fingerprint (group AcUW II). Symbioses were readily established in one amoebic isolate which displayed a homologous mtDNA fingerprint (group AcUW II). Exposure of a heterologous amoebic isolate (group AcUW IV) to the two symbionts resulted in either cell death or encystation without the establishment of symbioses. While symbioses were established with an amoebic isolate from a second heterologous group (AcUWI), a unique membranous sheath appeared and persisted around one of the symbionts which did not exist in the original host. An isolate representing a third heterologous amoebic group (AcUW VI) was variable in its susceptibility with one symbiont unable to infect the host and the other becoming established only after an initial reaction in which trophozoites rounded-up and floated off the substrate. These studies suggest that a specific recognition system exists between particular isolates of Acanthamoeba and their symbionts, and that the appearance of a killer phenotype is related to contact between mismatched though recognized, pairs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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