Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > A comparison of the growth and starvation respo...
View graph of relations

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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2007
<mark>Journal</mark>FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number3
Volume59
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)556-563
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

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 x 10(6) cells cm(-2) of agar and yielded specific growth rates of c. 0.04 h(-1). 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.