Identification of sulphate-reducing ectosymbiotic bacteria from anaerobic ciliates using 16S rRNA binding oligonucleotide probes

Arch Microbiol. 1992;158(6):394-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00276298.


The identity of ectosymbiotic bacteria of some marine, free-living anaerobic ciliates (Metopus contortus, Caenomorpha levanderi and Parablepharisma sp.) was studied using fluorescent-dye-conjugated oligonucleotides complementary to short sequence elements of 16S ribosomal RNA. The ectosymbiotic bacteria of all species hybridized with a eubacterial probe and those of the two former mentioned species hybridized with a general probe for sulphate-reducing bacteria, but not to a probe specific for Desulfobacter. The results support indirect evidence suggesting that ectosymbiotic bacteria of anaerobic ciliates are sulphate-reducers which depend on host metabolites for substrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Ciliophora / microbiology*
  • Gram-Negative Anaerobic Bacteria / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Anaerobic Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Probes*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / isolation & purification*
  • Sulfates / metabolism
  • Symbiosis*


  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sulfates