Paraburkholderia symbionts isolated from Dictyostelium discoideum induce bacterial carriage in other Dictyostelium species

Rory Vu Mather, Tyler J. Larsen, Debra A. Brock, David C. Queller, Joan E. Strassmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum engages in a complex relationship with bacterial endosymbionts in the genus Paraburkholderia, which can benefit their host by imbuing it with the ability to carry prey bacteria throughout its life cycle. The relationship between D. discoideum and Paraburkholderia has been shown to take place across many strains and a large geographical area, but little is known about Paraburkholderia's potential interaction with other dictyostelid species. We explore the ability of three Paraburkholderia species to stably infect and induce bacterial carriage in other dictyostelid hosts. We found that all three Paraburkholderia species successfully infected and induced carriage in seven species of Dictyostelium hosts. While the overall behaviour was qualitatively similar to that previously observed in infections of D. discoideum, differences in the outcomes of different host/symbiont combinations suggest a degree of specialization between partners. Paraburkholderia was unable to maintain a stable association with the more distantly related host Polysphondylium violaceum. Our results suggest that the mechanisms and evolutionary history of Paraburkholderia's symbiotic relationships may be general within Dictyostelium hosts, but not so general that it can associate with hosts of other genera. Our work further develops an emerging model system for the study of symbiosis in microbes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20230977
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number2003
StatePublished - Jul 26 2023


  • bacteria
  • endosymbiont
  • pathogen
  • social amoeba
  • symbiosis


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