Paramecium symbiotic relationship

Symbiosis in Paramecium Bursaria.

paramecium symbiotic relationship

Genetics of the relationship between the ciliate Paramecium bursaria and its symbiotic algae. Yuki Tonookal a and Tsuyoshi Watanabe2. Department of Biology. When you teach symbiosis and endosymbiotic theory, consider using Paramecium bursaria, a protist that forms a mutualistic relationship with algae. A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Paramecium The species Paramecium bursaria forms symbiotic relationships with green algae.

Carolina offers cultures of the ciliate host, green in color from the Chlorella in its cytoplasm. Each culture contains enough material for a class of 30 students.

Paramecium for a lab activity that includes an answer sheet for the instructor.

Paramecium bursaria - Wikipedia

In the s Lynn Margulis first proposed the endosymbiosis hypothesis to explain how free-living chloroplasts and mitochondria may have been engulfed by larger eukaryotic cells. While we are unable to observe the origin of endosymbiotic events that may have happened over a billion years ago, the relationship between Chlorella and P.

paramecium symbiotic relationship

Such observations may augment student understanding of the costs and benefits of mutualism and serve as a starting point for class discussion on topics such as symbiosis or as an explanation for the evolution of the eukaryotic cell.

Symbiosis allows students to explore several real-life examples of symbiosis.

paramecium symbiotic relationship

References De Clerck, O. Diversity and Evolution of Algae: Advances in Botanical Research 64, 55— Infection of Paramecium bursaria by Symbiotic Chlorella Species. Endosymbionts in Paramecium, Microbiology Monographs 12, ed.

paramecium symbiotic relationship

Endosymbiotic associations of freshwater protozoa and algae. Progress in Protistology 1, — Paramecium are known for their avoidance behavior.

If an encounters a negative stimiulus, it is capable of rotating up to degrees to find an escape route.

paramecium symbiotic relationship

The macronucleus can contain up to copies of each gene. Research on the genome structure of Paramecium is still largely incomplete. However, the genomes of some species are beginning to be sequenced.

For example, the complete mitochondrion genome for Paramecium aurelia has been established. The complete macronuclear genome of Paramecium tetraurelia has also been sequenced.


Cell Structure and Metabolism Diagram of the sexual life cycle. Ciliated Protozoans by John W. Paramecium are ciliated unicellular organisms. The cilia cover the entire body. Like other ciliates, they are multinucleated. Paramecium may eject trichocyts when they detect food, in order to better capture their prey.

These trichocyts are filled with proteins. Trichocysts can also be deployed for self-defense. Their common form of prey is bacteria. A single organism has the ability to eat 5, bacteria a day.

Having Friends Over for Lunch: The Mutualism of Paramecium bursaria and Endosymbiotic Algae

They are also known to feed on yeasts, algae, and small protozoa. Paramecium capture their prey through phagocytosis. Paramecium are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction is the most common, and this is accomplished by the organism dividing transversely.

The macronucleus elongates and splits. Under ideal conditions, Paramecium can reproduce asexually two or three tiems a day. Normally, Paramecium only reproduce sexually under stressful conditions. This occurs via conjugation, a process of gamete agglutination and fusion.

paramecium symbiotic relationship