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A comparison of the growth and starvation responses of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis in the presence of suspended and attached Escherichia coli K12

Pickup, Zoe L.; Pickup, Roger; Parry, Jacqueline D.. 2007 A comparison of the growth and starvation responses of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis in the presence of suspended and attached Escherichia coli K12. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 59 (3). 526-563. 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2006.00224.x

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Abstract/Summary

The growth and starvation responses of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis were investigated in the presence and absence of Escherichia coli on an agar surface or within shaken suspensions. The amoebae perceived all the suspended systems to be unfavourable for growth, despite being challenged with high levels of prey, and as a consequence they exhibited a starvation response. However, the response differed between species, with A. castellanii producing characteristic cysts and H. vermiformis producing round bodies. These amoebic forms were reactivated into feeding trophozoites in the presence of bacterial aggregates, which formed in the suspended systems after 68 h of incubation. In contrast, both species of amoebae grew well in the presence of attached E. coli at a concentration of 1 × 106 cells cm2 of agar and yielded specific growth rates of c. 0.04 h1. Starvation responses were induced at the end of the growth phase, and these were equivalent to those recorded in the suspended systems. We conclude that, when suspended, amoebae in the ‘floating form’ cannot feed effectively on suspended prey, and hence the starvation response is initiated. Thus the majority of amoebic feeding is via trophozoite grazing of attached bacterial prey.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2006.00224.x
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity > BD03 The Genetic Basis of Ecological Function > BD03.2 Ecology of host parasite interactions
CEH Sections: Parr
ISSN: 0168-6496
Additional Keywords: amoeba, cyst, yield, growth rate, ingestion rate, biofilm
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 19 May 2008 14:38
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2951

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