Algae encapsulated in cells of spotted salamander may provide photosynthetic products (oxygen and carbohydrate) by internal symbiosis.

“[T]he single-celled alga Oophila amblystomatis…has long been understood to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with
the spotted salamander, which lays its eggs in bodies of water. However,
the was thought to occur between the salamander embryo and
algae living outside it — with the embryo producing nitrogen-rich waste
that is useful to algae, and the algae increasing the oxygen content of
the water in the immediate vicinity of the respiring embryos.

“At a presentation on 28 July at the Ninth International Congress of
Vertebrate Morphology in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Ryan Kerney of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, reported that
these algae are, in fact, commonly located inside cells all over the
spotted salamander’s body. Moreover, there are signs that intracellular
algae may be directly providing the products of — oxygen
and carbohydrate — to the salamander cells that encapsulate them … Because vertebrate cells have what is known as an adaptive immune system
— which destroys biological material not considered ‘self’ — it was
thought to be impossible for a symbiont to live stably inside them. But,
in this case, the salamander cells have either turned their internal
immune system off, or the algae have somehow bypassed it.” (Petherick 2010:1)

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Last Updated September 28, 2020