Cognition, Vol. 9, No. 1

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Wiley-Liss, New York, My mentor, C. ZoBell, and I first started working on microorganisms living in extreme environments in , when the only accepted extremophiles were thermophiles and halophiles. Microbiologists did not readily accept the existence of barophiles, which we isolated during the Danish Galathea Deep Sea Expedition, until approximately 20 years later, when Schwarz et al.

When I first discovered true psychrophiles, it took 2 years to get the material into press because journal reviewers would not believe the findings. Now, things have changed so dramatically that the isolation of extremophiles is readily accepted; interest in these organisms has developed since the discovery of hydrothermal rifts by Jack Corliss, of Oregon State University.

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Interest in extremophiles has also been stimulated by new findings that point to the possibility of life on Mars and by the possible use of extremophiles in biotechnology. But although research on these organisms has increased dramatically, it still lags behind most areas of microbiology.

With this concern in mind, Extremophiles: Microbial Life in Extreme Environments assembles what information has been obtained, bringing the reader up to date on the most advanced data. Mermelstein and J.

Extremes of Biodiversity | BioScience | Oxford Academic

However, during the evolution of Earth, many different extreme environments evolved with the accompanying microorganisms. Before the present-day environmental conditions that we consider the norm, the earth underwent tremendous changes, starting from an extremely hot, gaseous environment; hence, environmental extremes were probably the norm for much of Earth's existence. Many different extreme environments were created that still exist today, along with the microflora that are adapted to these environments.

As Mermelstein and Zeikus suggest, such microflora may have only recently gained the ability to live under extreme conditions. Likewise, in chapter 3, A. Four books have already been published on organisms living in extreme environments, but this one is a welcome addition, mainly because it includes the latest data gathered on these microorganisms, especially on their biochemistry, physiology, and biotechnology applications.

In addition, the various chapters in Extremophiles are well referenced and written by well-known researchers.

Physiology and Biochemistry of Extremophiles

Chapter 1, by Karl O. Stetter, deals with hyperthermophiles, not thermophiles.

Basic Biochemistry Review for Anatomy and Physiology

Stetter gives an excellent presentation of strategies for their isolation and their biochemistry, physiology, and phylogeny. As Stetter shows, hyperthermophiles can be extremely acidophilic, moderately acidophilic, or neutrophilic. Likewise, they can be chemolithoautotrophic or heterotrophic. What is known about the biochemical basis of heat stability as well as biotechnological applications of hyperthermophiles is well presented.

The main thrust of chapter 2 is the physiology and molecular biology of psychrophiles, although psychro-tolerant psychrotrophs are also discussed to a limited degree.

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Russell and Tetsuo Hamamoto offer an excellent, up-to-date review on the adaptation of lipid composition fatty acid changes, biosynthetic mechanisms, and membrane permeability , protein stability and enzyme activity including protein structure, ribosomal stability, and protein turnover , and the isolation of the desaturation gene. The biotechnological significance of psychrophiles is well presented.

With time, more research will result in a more complete picture of the ecology, physiology, molecular biology, and biotechnology of psychrophiles. Also, with the increased interest in extraterrestrial life, psychrophiles will attract more attention.

As for the microbiology of polar environments, the Russian literature needs to be consulted. In chapter 3, Yayanos presents all aspects of life under hydrostatic pressure i. The latest developments in methodology including instrumentation , growth characteristics of barophiles which are also psychrophilic , mechanisms of adaptation to hydrostatic pressure membrane structure and function, chromosome replication and cell division, transcription, translation, and DNA structure will permit the reader to grasp the entire subject matter readily. In addition, Yayanos includes a useful theoretical discussion of the physical and chemical aspects of hydrostatic pressure.

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Synonyms Extremophilic organisms ; Life, limits of. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Corliss JB et al Submarine thermal springs on the Galapagos rift.

Gerday C, Glansdorff N Physiology and biochemistry of extremophiles. Kato C Barophiles piezophiles. Lopez-Garcia P Extremophiles. Advances in astrobiology and biogeophysics, vol II.