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Encyclopedia > Extremophile

An extremophile is an organism, usually unicellular, which thrives in or requires 'extreme' conditions that would exceed optimal conditions for growth and reproduction in the majority of mesophilic terrestrial organisms. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ... A mesophile is an organism that grows best in moderate temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, typically between 20 and 45 °C with an optimal temperature near 37 °C, which is the normal temperature of the human body. ...


Most extremophiles are microbes. The domain Archaea is known for widespread extremophilia, but extremophiles are present in numerous and diverse genetic lineages of both the bacteria and archaea. Although the terms archaea and extremophile are occasionally used interchangeably, there are many mesophile archaeans and many extremophile bacteria. Additionally, not all extremophiles are unicellular. Examples of extremophilic metazoa are the Pompeii worm, the psychrophilic Grylloblattodea (insects), antarctic krill (crustaceans) and the Tardigrade. A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ... Phyla / Classes Phylum Crenarchaeota Phylum Euryarchaeota     Halobacteria     Methanobacteria     Methanococci     Methanopyri     Archaeoglobi     Thermoplasmata     Thermococci Phylum Korarchaeota Phylum Nanoarchaeota Archaea (; from Greek αρχαία, ancient ones; singular Archaeum, Archaean, or Archaeon), also called Archaebacteria (), is a major division of living organisms. ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... A mesophile is an organism that grows best in moderate temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, typically between 25 and 40 °C (68 and 113 °F). ... Phyla Radiata Cnidaria Ctenophora - Comb jellies Bilateria Protostomia Acoelomorpha Platyhelminthes - Flatworms Nemertina - Ribbon worms Gastrotricha Gnathostomulida - Jawed worms Micrognathozoa Rotifera - Rotifers Acanthocephala Priapulida Kinorhyncha Loricifera Entoprocta Nematoda - Roundworms Nematomorpha - Horsehair worms Cycliophora Mollusca - Mollusks Sipuncula - Peanut worms Annelida - Segmented worms Tardigrada - Water bears Onychophora - Velvet worms Arthropoda - Insects, etc. ... Binomial name Alvinella pompejana The Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana) is a deep-sea polychaete worm found only at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. ... Psychrophiles are extremophilic organisms that are capable of growth and reproduction in cold temperatures. ... Genera Grylloblatta Galloisiana Grylloblattodea is a small order of extremophile insects that live in the cold on top of mountains. ... Orders See taxonomy Insects (Class Insecta) are a major group of arthropods and the most diverse group of animals on the Earth, with over a million described species — more than all other animal groups combined [1]. Insects may be found in nearly all environments on the planet, although only a... Binomial name Euphausia superba Dana, 1850 The Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba ) is a species of krill found in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. ... Classes Remipedia Cephalocarida Branchiopoda Ostracoda Maxillopoda Malacostraca The crustaceans (Crustacea) are a large group of arthropods (55,000 species), usually treated as a subphylum. ... Classes [1] Heterotardigrada Mesotardigrada Eutardigrada Tardigrades or water bears comprise the phylum Tardigrada. ...


Types of extremophiles

There are many different classes of extremophiles, each corresponding to the way its environmental niche differs from those of the majority of terrestrial mesophile organisms. These classifications are not exclusive. Many extremophiles fall under multiple categories. For example, organisms living inside hot rocks deep under Earth's surface are both thermophilic and barophilic.

A Pompeii worm colony near a hydrothermal vent.Photo credit: University of Delaware
A Pompeii worm colony near a hydrothermal vent.
Photo credit: University of Delaware
  • Acidophile: An organism with an optimum pH level at or below pH 3.
  • Alkaliphile: An organism with optimal growth at pH levels of 9 or above.
  • Barophile: Bacteria which live in environments characterized by high gas or liquid pressure; synonymous with piezophile.
  • Endolith: An organism that lives in microscopic spaces within rocks, such as pores between aggregate grains. These may also be called cryptoendoliths. This term also includes organisms populating fissures, aquifers, and faults filled with groundwater in the deep subsurface.
  • Halophile: An organism requiring at least 2M of salt, NaCl, for growth.
  • Hyperthermophile: An organism that can thrive at temperatures between 80-121 °C, such as those found in hydrothermal systems.
  • Hypolith: An organism that lives inside rocks in cold deserts.
  • Lithoautotroph: An organism (usually bacteria) whose sole source of carbon is carbon dioxide and exergonic inorganic oxidation (chemolithotrophs) such as Nitrosomonas europea. These organisms are capable of deriving energy from reduced mineral compounds like pyrites, and are active in geochemical cycling and the weathering of parent bedrock to form soil.
  • Metalotolerant: capable of tolerating high levels of dissolved heavy metals in solution, such as copper, cadmium, arsenic, and zinc.
  • Oligotroph: An organism capable of growth in nutritionally limited environments.
  • Osmophile: An organism capable of growth in environments with a high sugar concentration.
  • Piezophile: An organism that lives optimally at high hydrostatic pressure. See also Barophile. Common in the deep terrestrial subsurface, as well as in oceanic trenches.
  • Polyextremophile: An organism that qualifies as an extremophile under more than one category.
  • Psychrophile/Cryophile: An organism that grows better at temperatures of 15 °C or lower. Common in cold soils, permafrost, polar ice, cold ocean water, and in/under alpine snowpack.
  • Radioresistant: resistant to high levels of ionizing radiation, most commonly ultraviolet radiation but also includes organisms capable of resisting nuclear radiation.
  • Thermophile: An organism that can thrive at temperatures between 60-80 °C.
  • Xerophile: An organism that can grow in extremely dry, desiccating conditions. This type is exemplified by the soil microbes of the Atacama Desert.

Colony of Pompeii worms: a worms feathery head can be seen poking out of its tube at bottom centre. ... Colony of Pompeii worms: a worms feathery head can be seen poking out of its tube at bottom centre. ... Binomial name Alvinella pompejana The Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana) is a deep-sea polychaete worm found only at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. ... A hydrothermal vent A hydrothermal vent is a fissure in a planets surface from which geothermally heated water issues. ... Acidophilic describes the tendency of a inorganic particle or organism to acidic conditions or acids. ... The correct title of this article is . ... Alkaliphiles are microbes classified as extremophiles that thrive in alkaline environments with a pH of 9 to 11 such as soda lakes and carbonate-rich soils. ... The correct title of this article is . ... barophiles- bacteria which live under exterme conditions of high pessure. ... A piezophile is an organism which thrives at high pressures, such as deep sea bacteria or archaea. ... Endolith lifeform found inside an Antarctic rock An endolith or cryptoendolith is an organism (archaea, bacterium, or fungus) that lives inside rock, coral, animal shells, or in the pores between mineral grains. ... Endolith lifeform found inside an Antarctic rock An endolith or cryptoendolith is an organism (archaea, bacterium, or fungus) that lives inside rock, coral, animal shells, or in the pores between mineral grains. ... Halophiles are extremophiles that thrive in environments with very high concentrations of salt (at least 2 M, approximately ten times the salt level of ocean water). ... This page refers to concentration in the chemical sense. ... Sodium chloride, also known as common salt, table salt, or halite, is a chemical compound with formula NaCl. ... Hyperthermophiles produce some of the bright colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park A hyperthermophile is an organism that thrives in extremely hot environments - that is, hotter than around 60°C. The optimal temperatures are between 80°C and 110°C; in fact, the recently-discovered Strain 121 [1... In Arctic and Antarctic ecology, a hypolith is a photosynthetic organism that lives underneath rocks in climatically extreme deserts such as Cornwallis Island and Devon Island in the Canadian high Arctic. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Lithotroph. ... General Name, Symbol, Number carbon, C, 6 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 14, 2, p Appearance black (graphite) colorless (diamond) Atomic mass 12. ... Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. ... The most fundamental reactions in chemistry are the redox processes. ... Binomial name Nitrosomonas europea Patrick Chain et al, 2003 Nitrosomonas europea is a gram-negative obligate chemolithoautotroph that can derive all its energy and reductant for growth from the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and lives in several places such as soil, sewage, freshwater, the walls of buildings and on... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Atomic mass 63. ... General Name, Symbol, Number cadmium, Cd, 48 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 5, d Appearance silvery gray metallic Atomic mass 112. ... General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Atomic mass 74. ... General Name, Symbol, Number zinc, Zn, 30 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 4, d Appearance bluish pale gray Atomic mass 65. ... An oligotroph is an organisn that can live in a very low carbon concentration, one part per million! ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A piezophile is an organism which thrives at high pressures, such as deep sea bacteria or archaea. ... The use of water pressure - the Captain Cook Memorial Jet in Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. ... barophiles- bacteria which live under exterme conditions of high pessure. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... Psychrophiles are extremophilic organisms that are capable of growth and reproduction in cold temperatures. ... Radioresistant organisms are capable of living in environments with very high levels of ionizing radiation, such as nuclear power plants. ... Radiation hazard symbol. ... This article is about an organism. ... Xerophiles are extremophilic organisms that can grow and reproduce in conditions with a low availability of water, also known as water activity. ... Atacama Desert The Atacama Desert of Chile is a virtually rainless plateau made up of salt basins (salares), sand, and lava flows, extending from the Andes mountains to the Pacific Ocean. ...

Extremophiles and astrobiology

Astrobiology is the field concerned with forming theories about the distribution, nature, and future of life in the universe. In it, microbial ecologists, astronomers, planetary scientists, geochemists, philosophers, and explorers cooperate to constructively guide the search for life on other planets. Astrobiologists are particularly interested in studying extremophiles, as many organisms of this type are capable of surviving in environments similar to those known to exist on other planets. For example, Mars may have regions in its deep subsurface permafrost that could harbor endolith communities. The subsurface water ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor life, especially at hypothesized hydrothermal vents at the ocean floor. This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Endolith lifeform found inside an Antarctic rock An endolith or cryptoendolith is an organism (archaea, bacterium, or fungus) that lives inside rock, coral, animal shells, or in the pores between mineral grains. ... Adjective Jovian Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 70 kPa Hydrogen ~86% Helium ~14% Methane 0. ... Apparent magnitude: 5. ...


External links

Wikinews has news related to:
Bacteria thrive deep under sea floor
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  • DaveDarling's Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Spaceflight
Extremophiles
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Categories Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ...

AcidophileAlkaliphileBarophileCapnophileEndolithHalophileHyperthermophileHypolithLithoautotrophLithophileOligotrophOsmophilePiezophilePolyextremophilePsychrophileThermophileXerophile
Acidophilic organisms are those that thrive under highly acidic conditions (usually at pH 2. ... Alkaliphiles are microbes classified as extremophiles that thrive in alkaline environments with a pH of 9 to 11 such as soda lakes and carbonate-rich soils. ... barophiles- bacteria which live under exterme conditions of high pessure. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Endolith lifeform found inside an Antarctic rock An endolith or cryptoendolith is an organism (archaea, bacterium, or fungus) that lives inside rock, coral, animal shells, or in the pores between mineral grains. ... Halophiles are extremophiles that thrive in environments with very high concentrations of salt (at least 2 M, approximately ten times the salt level of ocean water). ... Hyperthermophiles produce some of the bright colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park A hyperthermophile is an organism that thrives in extremely hot environments - that is, hotter than around 60°C. The optimal temperatures are between 80°C and 110°C; in fact, the recently-discovered Strain 121 [1... In Arctic and Antarctic ecology, a hypolith is a photosynthetic organism that lives underneath rocks in climatically extreme deserts such as Cornwallis Island and Devon Island in the Canadian high Arctic. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Lithotroph. ... Lithophiles are micro-organisms that can live within the pore spaces of sedimentary and even igneous (if they are cracked—no natural space in igneous) rocks to depths of several kilometers. ... An oligotroph is an organisn that can live in a very low carbon concentration, one part per million! ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A piezophile is an organism which thrives at high pressures, such as deep sea bacteria or archaea. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... Psychrophiles are extremophilic organisms that are capable of growth and reproduction in cold temperatures. ... This article is about an organism. ... Xerophiles are extremophilic organisms that can grow and reproduce in conditions with a low availability of water, also known as water activity. ...

Notable extremophiles


Chloroflexus aurantiacusDeinococcus radiodurans • Deinococcus-Thermus • Paralvinella sulfincolaPompeii wormPyrococcus furiosusSnottiteStrain 121Thermus aquaticusThermus thermophilus Thermophilic Organisms Chloroflexus aurantiacus is a photosynthetic bacterium isolated from hot springs, belonging to the green non_sulfur bacteria. ... Binomial name Deinococcus radiodurans Brooks & Murray, 1981 Deinococcus radiodurans (strange berry that withstands radiation, formerly called Micrococcus radiodurans) is an extremophilic bacterium, and is the most radioresistant organism known. ... Orders & Genera Deinococcales     Deinococcus Thermales     Thermus     Meiothermus     Marinithermus     Oceanithermus     Vulcanithermus The Deinococcus-Thermus are a small group of bacteria comprised of cocci highly resistant to environmental hazards. ... Binomial name Paralvinella sulfincola Paralvinella sulfincola is a species of worm of the Alvinellidae family that thrives on undersea hot-water vents. ... Binomial name Alvinella pompejana The Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana) is a deep-sea polychaete worm found only at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. ... Binomial name Pyrococcus furiosus Erauso et al. ... Snottites or Snotties are colonies of single-celled organisms that hang from the walls and ceilings of caves (similar to stalactites, but not hard). ... Strain 121 is a single-celled microbe, of the domain Archaea. ... Binomial name Thermophilus aquaticus Brock & Freeze, 1969 Thermophilus aquaticus is a species of bacterium that can tolerate high temperatures; it is the source of the heat-resistant enzyme Taq DNA Polymerase, one of the most important enzymes in molecular biology because of its use in the polymerase chain reaction. ... Binomial name Thermus thermophilus Thermus thermophilus is a gram negative eubacterium used in a range of biotechnological applications, including as a model organism for genetic manipulation and systems biology. ...

Related articles

ArchaeaAbiogenic petroleum originAcidithiobacillalesAcidobacteriaArchaeoglobaceaeBerkeley PitCrenarchaeotaGrylloblattidaeHalobacteriaHalobacteriumHydrothermal ventMethanopyrusRadioresistanceThermostabilityThermotogae
Phyla / Classes Phylum Crenarchaeota Phylum Euryarchaeota     Halobacteria     Methanobacteria     Methanococci     Methanopyri     Archaeoglobi     Thermoplasmata     Thermococci Phylum Korarchaeota Phylum Nanoarchaeota Archaea (; from Greek αρχαία, ancient ones; singular Archaeum, Archaean, or Archaeon), also called Archaebacteria (), is a major division of living organisms. ... The hypothesis of abiogenic petroleum origin holds that most petroleum was formed from deep carbon deposits, perhaps deposits dating to the accretion of the Earth. ... Families & Genera Acidithiobacillaceae    Acidithiobacillus Thermithiobacillaceae    Thermithiobacillus The Acidithiobacillales are a recently recognized order of Proteobacteria with only two genera, placed in separate families. ... Genera Acidobacterium Geothrix Holophaga Acidobacteria form a newly devised division of Bacteria. ... Genera Archaeoglobus Ferroglobus Geoglobus The Archaeoglobaceae is a family within the Euryarchaeota. ... The Berkeley Pit is a gigantic former open pit copper mine located in Butte, Montana, and is the one of the largest Superfund sites. ... Orders Caldisphaerales Cenarchaeales Desulfurococcales Sulfolobales Thermoproteales The Crenarchaeota are a major group of Archaea, containing many extremely thermophilic and psychrophilic organisms. ... Genera Galloisiana Grylloblatta Grylloblattella Grylloblattina Namkungia Grylloblattodea is a small order of extremophile and wingless insects that live in the cold on top of mountains, consisting of a single family, Grylloblattidae. ... Genera Haloarcula Halobacterium Halobaculum Halococcus Haloferax Halogeometricum Halorubrum Haloterrigena Natrialba Natrinema Natronobacterium Natronococcus Natronomonas Natronorubrum The halobacteria are a family of archaea, found in water saturated or nearly saturated with salt. ... Species See article Note: The word halobacterium is also the singular form of the word halobacteria. The genus Halobacterium consists of several species of archaea with an obligate aerobic metabolism which require an environment with a high concentration of salt; many of their proteins will not function in low-salt... A hydrothermal vent A hydrothermal vent is a fissure in a planets surface from which geothermally heated water issues. ... Binomial name Methanopyrus kandleri AV19 Slesarev AI et al. ... Radioresistance is the property of organisms which are capable of living in environments with very high levels of ionizing radiation, such as around nuclear power plants, or near natural uranium mineral sites. ... Thermostability is the quality of a substance to resist irreversible change in its chemical or physical structure at high temperature. ... Species Thermotoga elfii Thermotoga hypogea Thermotoga lettingae Thermotoga maritima Thermotoga naphthophila Thermotoga neapolitana Thermotoga petrophila Thermotoga subterranea Thermotoga thermarum Thermotoga are thermophile or hyperthermophile bacteria whose cell is wrapped in an outer toga membrane. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Extremophile Summary (2073 words)
"Extremophiles" is a term that refers to bacteria that are able to exist and thrive in environments that are extremely harsh (harsh, that is, in comparison with those environments classically envisioned as being hospitable to bacterial growth).
An extremophile is an organism, usually unicellular, which thrives in or requires 'extreme' conditions that would exceed optimal conditions for growth and reproduction in the majority of mesophilic terrestrial organisms.
Examples of extremophilic metazoa are the Pompeii worm, the psychrophilic Grylloblattodea (insects), antarctic krill (crustaceans) and the Tardigrade.
Visual Insight Publications (2937 words)
Extremophiles are nature’s pioneers, organisms that not only survive but thrive in the harshest environments.
Extremophiles are simple organisms; they are single-celled or in a filament of identical cells in alignment.
Through the study of extremophiles, though, scientists have discovered that there are special proteins (also known as “molecular chaperones”) that are either manufactured or mobilized at times when conditions stress an organism almost to the point of death.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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