Piezophilic Bacteria

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Synonyms

Barophilic bacteria

Definition and introduction

Modern deep-sea microbiology was born in the twentieth century, thanks mainly to the efforts of Claude E. ZoBell, Frank H. Johnson, Richard Y. Morita, Holger W. Jannasch, A. Aristides Yayanos, Koki Horikoshi, and others. ZoBell and coworkers were the first group to study the effect of hydrostatic pressure on microbial activity in the deep sea (ZoBell and Johnson, 1949). They coined the term “barophile” to describe bacteria that have “a requirement for increased pressure for growth, or by increased growth at pressures higher than atmospheric pressure” (Jannasch and Taylor, 1984). Pelagic sediments taken from the Philippine Trench at more than 10,000 m (>100 MPa) contained 104 to 105 cells of viable bacteria g-1 wet weight of various physiological types (ZoBell and Morita, 1956) including nitrate reducers, sulfate reducers, and ammonifiers. Most of these organisms were obligate barophiles, unable to ...