1. Evolutionary Biology
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Metabolic co-dependence drives the evolutionarily ancient Hydra-Chlorella symbiosis

  1. Mayuko Hamada
  2. Katja Schröder
  3. Jay Bathia
  4. Ulrich Kürn
  5. Sebastian Fraune
  6. Mariia Khalturina
  7. Konstantin Khalturin
  8. Chuya Shinzato
  9. Nori Satoh
  10. Thomas C G Bosch  Is a corresponding author
  1. Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan
  2. Kiel University, Germany
Research Article
  • Cited 4
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e35122 doi: 10.7554/eLife.35122

Abstract

Many multicellular organisms rely on symbiotic associations for support of metabolic activity, protection, or energy. Understanding the mechanisms involved in controlling such interactions remains a major challenge. In an unbiased approach we identified key players that control the symbiosis between Hydra viridissima and its photosynthetic symbiont Chlorella sp. A99. We discovered significant up-regulation of Hydra genes encoding a phosphate transporter and glutamine synthetase suggesting regulated nutrition supply between host and symbionts. Interestingly, supplementing the medium with glutamine temporarily supports in vitro growth of the otherwise obligate symbiotic Chlorella, indicating loss of autonomy and dependence on the host. Genome sequencing of Chlorella sp. A99 revealed a large number of amino acid transporters and a degenerated nitrate assimilation pathway, presumably as consequence of the adaptation to the host environment. Our observations portray ancient symbiotic interactions as a codependent partnership in which exchange of nutrients appears to be the primary driving force.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Mayuko Hamada

    Marine Genomics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Okinawa, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7306-2032
  2. Katja Schröder

    Zoological Institute, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Jay Bathia

    Zoological Institute, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Ulrich Kürn

    Zoological Institute, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Sebastian Fraune

    Zoological Institute, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6940-9571
  6. Mariia Khalturina

    Marine Genomics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Okinawa, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Konstantin Khalturin

    Marine Genomics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Okinawa, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4359-2993
  8. Chuya Shinzato

    Marine Genomics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Okinawa, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7843-3381
  9. Nori Satoh

    Marine Genomics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Okinawa, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4480-3572
  10. Thomas C G Bosch

    Zoological Institute, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
    For correspondence
    tbosch@zoologie.uni-kiel.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9488-5545

Funding

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Young Scientists (B) 25840132)

  • Mayuko Hamada

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Scientific Research (C) 15K07173)

  • Mayuko Hamada

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (CRC1182)

  • Thomas C G Bosch

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Paul G Falkowski, Rutgers University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: January 16, 2018
  2. Accepted: May 26, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 31, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 26, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Hamada et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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