Symbioses between prokaryotes and microbial eukaryotes, particularly ciliated protists, have been studied for a long time. Nevertheless, researchers have focused only on a few host genera and species, mainly due to difficulties in cultivating the hosts, and usually have considered a single symbiont at a time. Here, we present a pilot study using a single-cell microbiomic approach to circumvent these issues. Unicellular ciliate isolation followed by simultaneous amplification of eukaryotic and prokaryotic markers was used. Our preliminary test gave reliable and satisfactory results both on samples collected from different habitats (marine and freshwater) and on ciliates belonging to different taxonomic groups. Results suggest that, as already assessed for many macro-organisms like plants and metazoans, ciliated protists harbor distinct microbiomes. The applied approach detected new potential symbionts as well as new hosts for previously described ones, with relatively low time and cost effort and without culturing. When further developed, single-cell microbiomics for ciliates could be applied to a large number of studies aiming to unravel the evolutionary and ecological meaning of these symbiotic systems.
Предметные области Scopus
- Экология, эволюция поведение и систематика