A hypothesis is considered that the establishment and maintenance of mass exchange processes in the Paramecium bursariasymbiotic complex (infusorian–alga) depends on the presence of the third component—bacteria—whose role is underestimated but essential for completing the exchange cycle. The role of this component in the symbiotic cycle of Paramecium bursariais possible to reveal using special bactericidal preparations specifically inhibiting the bacteria involved in the metabolic cycle but having no effect on the functions of the host cell and the zoochlorella population. Experiments with various preparations of this type were performed, and the response to treatment was estimated from growth rates of the symbiotic complex and its components. This allowed identification of an antibiotic (rifampicin) that had no adverse influence on free-living zoochlorella and chlorella-free paramecia (the basic components of the symbiotic cycle) but drastically inhibited the growth of the P. bursariasymbiotic complex, which could be interpreted as evidence in favor of the hypothesis concerning the existence of the third symbiotic component.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 9, 2004
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