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Some rumen ciliates have endosymbiotic methanogens

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor T. Martin Embley FMedSci FRSORCiD, Professor Robert HirtORCiD


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Most of the small ciliate protozoa, including Dasytricha ruminantium and Entodinium spp. living in the rumen of sheep, were found to have intracellular bacteria. These bacteria were not present in digestive vacuoles. They showed characteristic coenzyme F420 autofluorescence and they were detected with a rhodamine-labelled Archaea-specific oligonucleotide probe. The measured volume percent of autofluorescing bacteria (1%) was close to the total volume of intracellular bacteria estimated from TEM stereology. Thus it is likely that all of the bacteria living in the cytoplasm of these ciliates were endosymbiotic methanogens, using H2 evolved by the host ciliate to form methane. Intracellular methanogens appear to be much more numerous than those attached to the external cell surface of ciliates.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Embley TM; Hirt RP; Finlay BJ; Esteban G; Clarke KJ; Williams AG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: FEMS Microbiology Letters

Year: 1994

Volume: 117

Issue: 2

Pages: 157-61

Print publication date: 01/04/1994

ISSN (print): 0378-1097

ISSN (electronic): 1574-6968

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1994.tb06758.x


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