Assessing phagotrophy in the mixotrophic ciliate Paramecium bursaria using GFP-expressing yeast cells

Takashi Miura, Hisao Moriya, Sosuke Iwai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We used cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) as fluorescently labelled prey to assess the phagocytic activities of the mixotrophic ciliate Paramecium bursaria, which harbours symbiotic Chlorella-like algae. Because of different fluorescence spectra of GFP and algal chlorophyll, ingested GFP-expressing yeast cells can be distinguished from endosymbiotic algal cells and directly counted in individual P. bursaria cells using fluorescence microscopy. By using GFP-expressing yeast cells, we found that P. bursaria altered ingestion activities under different physiological conditions, such as different growth phases or the presence/absence of endosymbionts. Use of GFP-expressing yeast cells allowed us to estimate the digestion rates of live prey of the ciliate. In contrast to the ingestion activities, the digestion rate within food vacuoles was not affected by the presence of endosymbionts, consistent with previous findings that food and perialgal vacuoles are spatially and functionally separated in P. bursaria. Thus, GFP-expressing yeast may provide a valuable tool to assess both ingestion and digestion activities of ciliates that feed on eukaryotic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfnx117
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume364
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2017

Fingerprint

Paramecium
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Yeasts
Digestion
Eating
Vacuoles
Chlorella
Food
Chlorophyll
Fluorescence Microscopy
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Fluorescence
Growth

Keywords

  • Algal endosymbiosis
  • Ciliate
  • GFP
  • Paramecium bursaria
  • Phagotrophic protists
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Assessing phagotrophy in the mixotrophic ciliate Paramecium bursaria using GFP-expressing yeast cells. / Miura, Takashi; Moriya, Hisao; Iwai, Sosuke.

In: FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol. 364, No. 12, fnx117, 03.07.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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