Brevia

A Secondary Symbiosis in Progress?

Science  14 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5746, pp. 287
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116125

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Abstract

Algae have acquired plastids by developing an endosymbiotic relationship with either a cyanobacterium (primary endosymbiosis) or other eukaryotic algae (secondary endosymbiosis). We report a protist, which we tentatively refer to as Hatena, that hosts an endosymbiotic green algal partner but inherits it unevenly. The endosymbiosis causes drastic morphological changes to both the symbiont and the host cell architecture. This type of life cycle, in which endosymbiont integration has only partially converted the host from predator to autotroph, may represent an early stage of plastid acquisition through secondary symbiosis.

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