Together at all costs: the symbiosis

There are cases of symbiosis between animals and protozoa, in particular unicellular algae. The animals in which this phenomenon is most common are Radiolaria and Foraminifera (among protozoa), Coelenterata, Ctenophora, Platyhelminthes and molluscs (among Metazoa). In omnivore or herbivore species, such as, for instance, Radiolaria and Foraminifera, the algae adapt inside the cell by developing systems to resist the attack of some digestive enzymes of the host, especially cellulase. For instance, the zoochlorellae, even if they can also live on their own, can always be found in the Convoluta sp. Turbellaria (resembling a flat worm), where they get under the epidermis. They can invade the animal through the capsule of the egg, by which they are attracted. The Convoluta cannot live without these algae, because it needs the lipids they produce.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • life

    An Autotrophic Flagellate: the Euglena

    Look

    life

    Paramecium

    Look

    life

    A zoo in a drop

    Look
  • life

    The Paramecium

    Look

    life

    Zooxanthellae

    Look

    life

    Amoeba particular

    Look
  • Haematococcus pluvialis

    Look

    life

    Contractile vacuoles

    Look

    ecosystems

    Photosynthesis in action

    Look
  • life

    An Autotrophic Flagellate: the Euglena

    Look
  • life

    Paramecium

    Look
  • life

    A zoo in a drop

    Look

Facts

  • 13 May 2011

    A super-milk

    Some protozoa have attracted the interest of the biotechnological research world...

    Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

    Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

  • Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

  • A super-milk

    Some protozoa have attracted the interest of the biotechnological research world...

  • Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...