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Mark O. Martin

Great job, Merry! I love the FISH results.

I seem to remember articles describing bacteria living within the macro and micronuclei of ciliates. Hmmm. Here you go:

Görtz HD, Fujishima M. (1983) "Conjugation and meiosis of Paramecium caudatum infected with the micronucleus-specific bacterium Holospora elegans." Eur J Cell Biol. 32:86-91.

And in fact this pathway of infection can be used by a variety of bacteria?

Fokin SO, Skovorodkin IN, Schweikert M, Görtz HD. (2004). "Co-infection of the macronucleus of Paramecium caudatum by free-living bacteria together with the infectious Holospora obtusa." J Eukaryot Microbiol. 51 :417-424.

It seems to me that the interior of a eukaryotic cell is a series of niches for which different prokaryotes could adapt. The Rickettsia that appear to attack mitochondria. Micronuclear inhabitants. Your own example.

Thus a cell *is* an ecosystem, with many niches? Who better than prokaryotes to use unusual environments?

Merry replies:

Thanks, Mark! I didn't know about those bacteria in ciliate nuclei. Am going to investigate that one....

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