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Predatory capabilities of the Filasterean Capsaspora Owczarzaki reveals its potential for a free-living lifestyle

AuthorsHarcet, Matija; López-Escardó, David ; Sebé-Pedrós, Arnau ; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki
Issue DateJun-2016
CitationMoscow Forum PROTIST (2016)
AbstractCapsaspora owczarzaki is one of only two known members of Filasterea – a group of protists closely related to animals. Due to its phylogenetic position, complex life cycle, and wide gene repertoire, it has become an important non-model organism in evolutionary studies, especially on the origin of animals. C. owczarzaki was isolated from several strains of freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. However, it remains unclear whether it is an obligate symbiont or it can have a free-living lifestyle. In order to answer this question, we tested the interaction of C. owczarzaki with bacteria (Enterobacter aerogenes), with other unicellular eukaryotes (Dyctiostelium discoideum and Acanthamoeba castellani), and with B. glabrata embryonic (BGE) cells. The interactions were observed and documented by microscopy. In addition, we followed the growth of C. owczarzaki in the presence of these organisms. We found that C. owczarzaki is able to grow on a diet consisting only of bacteria. Furthermore, it efficiently kills and consumes Dictyostelium discoideum and BGE cells, and ingests material from live Acathamoeba castellanii. We performed RNAseq of C. owczarzaki fed by the organisms mentioned before and found distinct expression profiles for each food type. Our results strongly suggest that C. owczarzaki is not an obligate snail symbiont, but rather an opportunistic predatory organism able to feed on a variety of food types. This research increases the knowledge on the diversity of lifestyles among unicellular holozoans, and has implications on our understanding of the origin of animals.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el Moscow Forum PROTIST 2016, celebrado en Moscú del 6 al 10 de junio de 2016.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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