High-Temperature Live-Cell Imaging of Cytokinesis, Cell Motility, and Cell-Cell Interactions in the Thermoacidophilic Crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius

Front Microbiol. 2021 Aug 10:12:707124. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.707124. eCollection 2021.


Significant technical challenges have limited the study of extremophile cell biology. Here we describe a system for imaging samples at 75°C using high numerical aperture, oil-immersion lenses. With this system we observed and quantified the dynamics of cell division in the model thermoacidophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius with unprecedented resolution. In addition, we observed previously undescribed dynamic cell shape changes, cell motility, and cell-cell interactions, shedding significant new light on the high-temperature lifestyle of this organism.

Keywords: Sulfolobus; archaeal cell biology; cell motility; cytokinesis; live-cell imaging; microcolony formation.