It’s Microbe Monday!
Today, we are presenting you not one, but two microbes! A sulfate-reducing Archaea and a spindle-shape virus!
Sulfolobus solfataricus was originally isolated from the Sulfatara hot springs in Italy. It is a mobile thermoacidophile Archaea as it has a clock-wise flagellum and is found in hot and acidic environments such as hot springs, volcanoes, and hydrothermal vents. Sulfolobus is a sulfate-reducer that uses sulfur as an energy source and converts it into sulfuric acid.
SSV1, which stands for Sulfolobus spindle-shape virus 1, is very specific and infects only a few strains of Sulfolobus. It was isolated from the Bebbu hot springs in Japan. Spindle-shaped viruses have only been isolated on Archaea so far.
Viral and prokaryotic (bacteria and archaea) genomes greatly vary in size. For example, Sulfolobus solfataricus genome is ~ 3,000,000 base pair long, while SSV1’s is ~15,000 bp. If you compare the genome sizes to text files, the archaeal genome would correspond to a 750 kbytes file while the viral genome would be contained in 3.75 kbytes. Think about all the differences in information content!