An amoeba isolated from an aquatic biotope, identified morphologically as Saccamoeba limax, was found harbouring mutualistic rod-shaped gram-negative bacteria. During their cultivation on agar plates, a coinfection also by lysis-inducing chlamydia-like organisms was found in some subpopulations of that amoeba. .Here we provide a molecular-based identification of both the amoeba host and the two bacterial endosymbionts. Analysis of the 18S rRNA gene revealed that this strain is the sister-group to Glaeseria, for which we proposed the name Saccamoeba lacustris. The rod-shaped endosymbiont was identified as a member of Variovorax paradoxus group (Comamonadaceae, Beta-Proteobacteria). No growth on bacteriological agars was recorded, hence this symbiont might be strictly intracellular. The chlamydia-like parasite was unable to infect Acanthamoeba and other amoebae in coculture, showing high host specificity. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rDNA indicated that it is a new member of the family Parachlamydiaceae (order Chlamydiales), for which we proposed the name 'Candidatus Metachlamydia lacustris'.
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