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An amoebal grazer of cyanobacteria requires cobalamin produced by heterotrophic bacteria

Cyanobacteria are important primary producers in aquatic environments, where they are grazed upon by a variety of phagotrophic protists and, hence, have an impact on nutrient flux at the base of microbial food webs. Here, we characterize amoebal isolate LPG3, which consumes cyanobacteria as its primary food source but also requires heterotrophic bacteria as a source of corrinoid vitamins. Amoeba LPG3 specifically requires the corrinoid variant produced by heterotrophic bacteria and cannot grow on cyanobacteria alone, as they produce a different corrinoid variant. This same corrinoid specificity is also exhibited by other eukaryotes, including humans and algae. This amoebal model system allows us to dissect predator-prey interactions to uncover factors that may shape microbial food webs while also providing insight into corrinoid specificity in eukaryotes.

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