Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2018

Publication Title

Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology

Abstract

Blepharisma americanum, a member of the understudied ciliate class Heterotrichea, has a moniliform somatic macronucleus that resembles beads on a string. Blepharisma americanum is distinguishable by its pink coloration derived from the autofluorescent pigment blepharismin and tends to have a single somatic macronucleus with 3–6 nodes and multiple germline micronuclei. We used fluorescence confocal microscopy to explore the DNA content and amplification between the somatic and germline nuclei of B. americanum through its life cycle. We estimate that the DNA content of the macronucleus and micronucleus are 43 ± 8 Gbp and 83 ± 16 Mbp respectively. This correlates with an approximate DNA content difference of 500-fold from micronucleus to macronucleus and a macronuclear ploidy of ~1,100 N as compared to the presumably diploid micronucleus. We also investigate a previously reported macronuclear inclusion, which is present sporadically across all life cycle stages; this inclusion looks as if it contains blepharismin based on its fluorescent properties, but its function remains unknown. We also provide additional detail to our understanding of life cycles changes in B. americanum by analyses of fluorescent images. Overall, the data analyzed here contribute to our understanding of the diversity of nuclear architecture in ciliates by providing details on the highly polyploid somatic macronucleus of B. americanum.

Keywords

Confocal, fluorescence, genome amplification, nucleus

Volume

65

Issue

1

First Page

4

Last Page

11

DOI

10.1111/jeu.12422

ISSN

10665234

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Rights

Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.

Comments

Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

Included in

Biology Commons

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