1887

Abstract

Predation from intestinal amoebae may provide selective pressure for the maintenance of high genetic diversity at the locus, whereby serovars better escape predators in particular environments depending on the O-antigens they express. Here, the hypothesis that amoebae from a particular intestinal environment collectively prefer one serovar over another is tested. Collections of , , and were isolated from the intestinal tracts of several vertebrate hosts, including bullfrog tadpoles, goldfish, turtles and bearded dragons, and their feeding preferences were determined. Congeneric amoebae from the same environment had significantly similar feeding preferences. Strikingly, even unrelated amoebae – such as and from goldfish – also had significantly similar feeding preferences. Yet amoebae isolated from different environments showed no similarity in prey choice. Thus, feeding preferences of amoebae appear to reflect their environment, not their taxonomic relationships. A mechanism mediating this phenotypic convergence is discussed.

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2007-06-01
2019-10-16
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vol. , part 6, pp. 1781 - 1789

Silver-stained gel of the O-antigens isolated from fish. (a) Gel of 4 isolated from F1. (b) Gel of 6 strains isolated from the intestines of F3 (lanes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) and one strain isolated from F5 (lane 8). O-antigens are similar, if not identical, in appearance among isolates. [ PDF] (164 kb)



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