© BioMed Central Ltd 2000
Published: 06 July 2000
Gustafson et al. report in the 29 June Nature that a marine ciliate, Mesodinium rubrum, steals organelles from ingested algae (Nature 2000, 405:1049-1052). Although M. rubrum does not appear to ingest other food, or to maintain permanent symbionts, the ingested organelles help the ciliate to keep photosynthesizing and to maintain a high level of cell division.