Chemosensory response of marine flagellate towards L- and D- dissolved free amino acids generated during heavy grazing on bacteria
Ayo Millán, María Begoña
Baña García, Zuriñe
Artolozaga Bengoechera, Miren Itxaso
Iriberri Ramallo, Juan Antonio
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International Microbiology 13(3) : 151-158 (2010)
This study investigated the generation of dissolved free amino acids (DFAA) by the bacterivorous flagellate Rhynchomonas nasuta when feeding on abundant prey. Specifically, it examined whether this flagellate protist exhibits a chemosensory response towards those amino acids. The concentrations of glycine and the and D-enantiomers of glutamate, serine, threonine, alanine, and leucine were determined in co-cultures of the flagellate and bacteria. Glycine, L- and D-alanine, and L-serine were found to accumulate under these conditions in amounts that correlated positively with flagellate abundance, suggesting that protists are involved in their generation. Investigations of the chemotactic response of young and old foraging protists to the same amino acids, offered in concentrations similar to those previously generated, showed that glycine elicited the strongest attraction in both age groups. Young protists were strongly attracted to all the assayed amino acids, whereas older protists maintained a high level of attraction only for glycine. These results suggest that glycine generated by protists actively grazing in bacterially enriched patches functions as an infochemical, signaling to foraging protists the presence of available prey in the aquatic environment.