Extremophiles and their adaptation to hot environments

FEBS Lett. 1999 Jun 4;452(1-2):22-5. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(99)00663-8.


Water-containing terrestrial, subterranean and submarine high temperature areas harbor a variety of hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea which are able to grow optimally above 80 degrees C. Hyperthermophiles are adapted to hot environments by their physiological and nutritional requirements. As a consequence, cell components like proteins, nucleic acids and membranes have to be stable and even function best at temperatures around 100 degrees C. The chemolithoautotrophic archaeon Pyrolobus fumarii is able to grow at 113 degrees C and, therefore, represents the upper temperature border of life. For the first time, (vegetative) cultures of Pyrolobus and Pyrodictium are able to survive autoclaving.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Archaea / classification
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / growth & development
  • Archaea / physiology*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Water Microbiology*