Protist-bacteria associations are extremely common. Among them, those involving ciliates of the genus Euplotes are emerging as models for symbioses between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and a great deal of information is available from cultured representatives of this system. Even so, as for most known microbial symbioses, data on natural populations is lacking, and their ecology remains largely unexplored; how well lab cultures represent actual diversity is untested. Here, we describe a survey on natural populations of Euplotes based on a single-cell microbiomic approach, focusing on taxa that include known endosymbionts of this ciliate. The results reveal an unexpected variability in symbiotic communities, with individual hosts of the same population harboring different sets of bacterial endosymbionts. Co-occurring Euplotes individuals of the same population can even have different essential symbionts, Polynucleobacter and “Candidatus Protistobacter,” which might suggest that replacement events could be more frequent in nature than previously hypothesized. Accessory symbionts are even more variable: some showed a strong affinity for one host species, some for a sampling site, and two (“Candidatus Cyrtobacter” and “Candidatus Anadelfobacter”) displayed an unusual pattern of competitive exclusion. These data represent the first insight into the prevalence and patterns of bacterial symbionts in natural populations of free-living protists.

Single-cell Microbiomics Unveils Distribution and Patterns of Microbial Symbioses in the Natural Environment

Boscaro V.
Primo
;
Manassero V.;Vannini C.
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Protist-bacteria associations are extremely common. Among them, those involving ciliates of the genus Euplotes are emerging as models for symbioses between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and a great deal of information is available from cultured representatives of this system. Even so, as for most known microbial symbioses, data on natural populations is lacking, and their ecology remains largely unexplored; how well lab cultures represent actual diversity is untested. Here, we describe a survey on natural populations of Euplotes based on a single-cell microbiomic approach, focusing on taxa that include known endosymbionts of this ciliate. The results reveal an unexpected variability in symbiotic communities, with individual hosts of the same population harboring different sets of bacterial endosymbionts. Co-occurring Euplotes individuals of the same population can even have different essential symbionts, Polynucleobacter and “Candidatus Protistobacter,” which might suggest that replacement events could be more frequent in nature than previously hypothesized. Accessory symbionts are even more variable: some showed a strong affinity for one host species, some for a sampling site, and two (“Candidatus Cyrtobacter” and “Candidatus Anadelfobacter”) displayed an unusual pattern of competitive exclusion. These data represent the first insight into the prevalence and patterns of bacterial symbionts in natural populations of free-living protists.
Boscaro, V.; Manassero, V.; Keeling, P. J.; Vannini, C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1141127
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