Acanthamoeba can propagate on thermophilic Sulfolobus spp.
Acanthamoeba isolation from extreme environments suggests that they may play a role in regulating archaeal densities and contribute to these ecosystems. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Acanthamoeba grow on extremophilic/mesophilic Archaea that are dominant cellular organisms in such environments. Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 and Sulfolobus shibatae were used as representative of Archaea, while Escherichia coli K-12 strain HB101 was used as a positive control for amoeba growth. Acanthamoeba castellanii were inoculated on nonnutrient agar plates containing lawns of Sulfolobus and E. coli. The cultures of Sulfolobus supported A. castellanii growth similar to E. coli K-12, HB101. Overall, the findings revealed that Acanthamoeba feed on Sulfolobus, which may explain amoebae presence in extreme environments. This feeding behavior is important as extremophilic/mesophilic Archaea are known to play a role in biogeochemical cycling of different elements in their natural habitat impacting different ecosystems.