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Cytological studies on the endo symbiotic unit of paramecium bursaria and chlorella 2. the regulation of the endo symbiotic algal population as influenced by the nutritional condition of the symbiotic partners



Cytological studies on the endo symbiotic unit of paramecium bursaria and chlorella 2. the regulation of the endo symbiotic algal population as influenced by the nutritional condition of the symbiotic partners



Archiv fuer Protistenkunde 123(3): 333-341



The activity of acid phosphatase was analyzed by histochemical methods in green and alga-free P. bursaria with regard to its dependence on the nutritional conditions of the ciliate and to its significance for the regulation of the endosymbiotic algal population. In green paramecia the activity of the acid phosphatase in food vacuoles increased after feeding with Enterobacter cloacae. The internal supply with carbohydrates by the symbiotic Chlorellae does not exclude the uptake of external food. The lack of an external food supply results in a low level of enzymatic activity in organisms cultured in both light and dark. A model is discussed referring to the regulation of the endosymbiotic algal population. Its size is not regulated by digestion of the Chlorellae, but depends on the division rates of the symbiotic partners. In the dark, the division rate of algal cells is diminished due to the lack of photosynthetic activity, which cannot be compensated by a heterotrophic food supply. If the culture medium is devoid of suitable food, the number of algal cells soon decreases to reach a constant level, until the whole symbiotic unit dies. Sufficient external food supply raises the division rate of the Paramecium to such an extent that the number of algal cells per Paramecium is statistically diminished resulting in alga-free paramecia.

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