A long-living (of up to several years) bipartite system was constructed between the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the ascomycetous fungus Alternaria infectoria. The metabolic cooperation between the two organisms was tested with infecting A. infectoria hyphae into nitrogen starving yellow C. reinhardtii culture. After the infection, a slow greening process of the algal cells was observed, which was studied by measuring the increasing chlorophyll content, the appearance of chlorophyll-protein complexes – using 77 K fluorescence spectroscopy, and the measurement of photosynthetic oxygen production. Transmission electron microscopy and laser scanning microscopy images showed that no direct physical contacts were formed between the algal cells and the hyphae in the long-living symbiosis but they were joint in a mucilaginous bed allowing diffusion processes for metabolic cooperation. The increased free amino acid content of the medium of the long-living bipartite cultures’ indicated possible nitrogen supply of hyphal origin, which allowed the re-greening of the algal cells. The results of this work underline the importance of symbiosis-like stable metabolic coexistence, which ensures survival under extreme environmental conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)