Journal Article Intracellular symbiosis of algae with possible involvement of mitochondrial dynamics

Song, Chihong  ,  Murata, Kazuyoshi  ,  Suzaki, Toshinobu

7p.1221 , 2017-04-27 , Nature Publishing Group
Algal endosymbiosis is widely present among eukaryotes including many protists and metazoans. However, the mechanisms involved in their interactions between host and symbiont remain unclear. Here, we used electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction analyses to examine the ultrastructural interactions between the symbiotic zoochlorella and the organelles in the host Paramecium bursaria, which is a model system of endosymbiosis. Although in chemically fixed samples the symbiotic algae show no direct structural interactions with the host organelles and the perialgal vacuole membrane (PVM), in cryofixed P. bursaria samples the intimate connections were identified between the host mitochondria and the symbiotic algae via the PVM. The PVM was closely apposed to the cell wall of the symbiotic algae and in some places it showed direct contacts to the host mitochondrial membrane and the cell wall of the symbiotic algae. Further, the PVM-associated mitochondria formed a mitochondrial network and were also connected to host ER. Our observations propose a new endosymbiotic systems between the host eukaryotes and the symbionts where the benefiting symbiosis is performed through intimate interactions and an active structural modification in the host organelles.

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