CELL-CELL INTERACTION IN THE EUKARYOTE-PROKARYOTE MODEL OF THE MICROALGAE CHLORELLA VULGARIS AND THE BACTERIUM AZOSPIRILLUM BRASILENSE IMMOBILIZED IN POLYMER BEADS

Authors

  • Luz E. de-Bashan,

    1. Environmental Microbiology Group, Northwestern Center for Biological Research (CIBNOR), Mar Bermejo 195, Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita, La Paz, B.C.S. 23090, Mexico
      The Bashan Foundation, 3740 NW Harrison Blvd., Corvallis, Oregon 97330, USA
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  • Michael Schmid,

    1. Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Department of Microbe-Plant Interactions, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany
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  • Michael Rothballer,

    1. Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Department of Microbe-Plant Interactions, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany
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  • Anton Hartmann,

    1. Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Department of Microbe-Plant Interactions, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany
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  • Yoav Bashan

    1. Environmental Microbiology Group, Northwestern Center for Biological Research (CIBNOR), Mar Bermejo 195, Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita, La Paz, B.C.S. 23090, Mexico
      The Bashan Foundation, 3740 NW Harrison Blvd., Corvallis, Oregon 97330, USA
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  • Received 24 November 2010. Accepted 31 March 2011.

Abstract

Cell-cell interaction in the eukaryote-prokaryote model of the unicellular, freshwater microalga Chlorella vulgaris Beij. and the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum brasilense, when jointly immobilized in small polymer alginate beads, was evaluated by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) combined with SEM. This step revealed significant changes, with an increase in the populations of both partners, cluster (mixed colonies) mode of colonization of the bead by the two microorganisms, increase in the size of microalgae-bacterial clusters, movement of the motile bacteria cells toward the immotile microalgae cells within solid matrix, and formation of firm structures among the bacteria, microalgae cells, and the inert matrix that creates a biofilm. This biofilm was sufficiently strong to keep the two species attached to each other, even after eliminating the alginate support. This study showed that the common structural phenotypic interaction of Azospirillum with roots of higher plants, via fibrils and sheath material, is also formed and maintained during the interaction of this bacterium with the surface of rootless single-cell microalgae.

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