Image of the Day: Stowaway

Previously undetected cyanobacteria are symbionts of dinoflagellates.

Jun 26, 2019
Chia-Yi Hou
Ornithocercus thumii is a marine dinoflagellate with cyanobacterial symbionts. The cyanobacteria are the round brown objects in an extracellular chamber at the top of the dinoflagellate.
TAKURO NAKAYAMA

Cyanobacteria can live symbiotically with organisms such as dinoflagellates, but not much is understood about how these partnerships may affect microbial ecology. In a study published Monday (June 24), microbiologists sequenced the genome of cyanobacteria that previously went undetected because of their symbiotic relationship with Ornithocercus marine dinoflagellates.

T. Nakayama et al., “Single-cell genomics unveiled a cryptic cyanobacterial lineage with a worldwide distribution hidden by a dinoflagellate host,” PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1902538116, 2019.