Possible evolutionary significance of spirochaetes.

Entrez PubMed: "Large symbiotic spirochaetes of the family Pillotaceae (e.g. pillotinas) are found in dry wood and subterranean termites (Hollande & Garagozlou 1967). These morphologically distinctive spirochaetes comprise several genera. Some of them contain microtubules within their protoplasmic cylinders. They demonstrate a variety of relations with their termite and protist hosts. Some are free-living within the lumen of the intestine, some tend to be associated with filamentous and other bacteria, some are found regularly coursing between the numerous undulipodia ( = eukaryotic flagella, cilia, and other (9 + 2) organelles of motility) of hypermastigotes and polymastigotes. Still other smaller termite spirochaetes are regularly attached to protists via specialized attachment sites. Some even form motility symbiosis with their host protists. The analogy between the behaviour of host-associated spirochaetes and the possible steps in the origin of the undulipodia and mitotic system of eukaryotes is discussed briefly."

Margulis L, Chase D, To LP. Possible evolutionary significance of spirochaetes. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1979 Apr 11;204(1155):189-98.

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