Microbiology (Reading, England)

Calcium is required for ixotrophy of Aureispira sp. CCB-QB1.

PMID 26306656


Ixotrophy is a process that enables certain microbes to prey on other cells. The ability of cells to aggregate or adhere is thought to be a significant initial step in ixotrophy. The gliding, multicellular filamentous bacterium Aureispira sp. CCB-QB1 belongs to the family Saprospiraceae and preys on bacteria such as Vibrio sp. in seawater. Adhesion and cell aggregation were coincident with preying and were hypothesized to play an important role in the ixotrophy in this bacterium. To test this hypothesis, experiments to elucidate the mechanisms of aggregation or adhesion in this bacterium were performed. The ability of Aureispira QB1 to adhere and aggregate to prey bacterium, Vibrio sp., required divalent cations, especially calcium ions. In the presence of calcium, Aureispira QB1 cells captured 99 % of Vibrio sp. cells after 60 min of incubation. Toluidine blue O, which binds acidic polysaccharides, bound to Aureispira QB1 and inhibited adhesion of Aureispira QB1. These results suggest that acidic polysaccharides are needed for aggregation or adhesion of Aureispira and that calcium ions play a significant role in these phenomena.