|Title||Acanthamoeba everywhere: high diversity of Acanthamoeba in soils|
|Author(s)||Geisen, Stefan; Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Walochnik, Julia; Bonkowski, Michael|
|Source||Parasitology Research 113 (2014)9. - ISSN 0932-0113 - p. 3151 - 3158.|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Acanthamoeba - Free-living amoebae - Molecular ecology - Phylogeny - Protists - Soil microbiology|
Acanthamoeba is a very abundant genus of soil protists with fundamental importance in nutrient cycling, but several strains can also act as human pathogens. The systematics of the genus is still unclear: currently 18 small-subunit (SSU or 18S) ribosomal RNA sequence types (T1-T18) are recognized, which sometimes contain several different morphotypes; on the other hand, some morphological identical strains belong to different sequence types, sometimes appearing in paraphyletic positions. In this study, we cultivated 65 Acanthamoeba clones from soil samples collected under grassland at three separate locations in the Netherlands, in Sardinia and at high altitude mountains in Tibet. We obtained 24 distinct partial sequences, which predominantly grouped within sequence type T4 followed by T2, T13, T16 and "OX-1" (in the T2/T6 clade). Our sequences were 98-99 % similar, but none was identical to already known Acanthamoeba sequences. The community composition of Acanthamoeba strains differed between locations, T4 being the dominant sequence type in Sardinia and Tibet, but represented only half of the clones from soils in the Netherlands. The other half of clones from the Dutch soils was made up by T2, T16 and "OX-1", while T13 was only found in Sardinia and Tibet. None of the sequences was identical between localities. Several T4 clones from all three localities and all T13 clones grew at 37°C while one T4 clone was highly cytopathogenic.