Abstract Title

Growth and Behavior of a Novel Euglena with Environmental Microbes

Disciplines

Biochemistry | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Organismal Biological Physiology

Abstract

Euglenids are flagellated, photosynthetic protozoa that synthesize omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making them a potential source for nutritional supplements and biofuel production. We have isolated regional euglenids and selected one for its ability to withstand long-term storage, a characteristic which is unusual among microbes. Nuclear 18S rRNA and chloroplast 16S rRNA sequences suggest a novel species most closely related to E. agilis and model organism E. gracilis. Known as Euglena sp. G12, this organism thrived in storage with a mixed microbial consortium and we reasoned that one or more microbes provided nutrients essential for sustaining G12 growth. To test this, we isolated 10 phenotypically distinct microbes from the G12 storage medium and co-cultured individually or in pair-wise combinations with G12 in a minimal medium. Both G12 and several microbes grew faster when grown together but two bacterial strains also stimulated G12 swimming; spent media likewise stimulated G12 motility. Ultimately, co-culturing Euglena and other species with stabilizing microbes is an attractive alternative to pure culture techniques practiced in many laboratories and culture centers.

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Growth and Behavior of a Novel Euglena with Environmental Microbes

Euglenids are flagellated, photosynthetic protozoa that synthesize omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making them a potential source for nutritional supplements and biofuel production. We have isolated regional euglenids and selected one for its ability to withstand long-term storage, a characteristic which is unusual among microbes. Nuclear 18S rRNA and chloroplast 16S rRNA sequences suggest a novel species most closely related to E. agilis and model organism E. gracilis. Known as Euglena sp. G12, this organism thrived in storage with a mixed microbial consortium and we reasoned that one or more microbes provided nutrients essential for sustaining G12 growth. To test this, we isolated 10 phenotypically distinct microbes from the G12 storage medium and co-cultured individually or in pair-wise combinations with G12 in a minimal medium. Both G12 and several microbes grew faster when grown together but two bacterial strains also stimulated G12 swimming; spent media likewise stimulated G12 motility. Ultimately, co-culturing Euglena and other species with stabilizing microbes is an attractive alternative to pure culture techniques practiced in many laboratories and culture centers.