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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Horizontal Transmission of Symbiotic Green Algae Between Hydra Strains

Ryo Miyokawa, Takuya Tsuda, Hiroyuki J Kanaya, Junko Kusumi, Hidenori Tachida, Yoshitaka Kobayakawa
Biological Bulletin 2018, 235 (2): 113-122
30358444
Some hydra strains belonging to the vulgaris group show a symbiotic relationship with green algae Chlorococcum sp. The symbiotic green algae can escape from the host polyps and can form swimming zoospores (which have two flagella) in culture solution. We observed that co-culture with the symbiotic polyps caused horizontal transmission of the symbionts into some non-symbiotic hydra strains that have no symbionts in nature and that belong not only to the vulgaris group but also to other hydra species groups. Although most of the horizontal transmission has ended in transient symbioses, a newly formed symbiosis between the symbiotic Chlorococcum sp. and strain 105 of Hydra vulgaris (Hydra magnipapillata) has been sustained for more than five years and has caused morphological and behavioral changes in the host polyps. We named this strain 105G. The asexual proliferation rate by budding increased under light conditions, although the feeding activity decreased and the polyp size was reduced in strain 105G. This new symbiosis between Chlorococcum sp. and strain 105G of H. vulgaris provides us with an intriguing research system for investigating the origin of symbiosis.

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