Mechanism of Microbial Adaptation and Survival Within Psychrophilic Habitat

  • Xiuling Ji
  • Yunlin Wei


Microorganisms which are able to grow in environments with low temperature (5 °C or below) are known as psychrophiles. They are widely distributed in the world and play significant roles in biological evolution and maintain the balance of the Earth’s biosphere. Their habitats include natural frozen soil, ocean, lake, glacier, polar, sea ice, and other artificial environmental areas. The mechanisms of microbial cold adaptation and survival have attracted more attentions in the past decades. Well-known strategies include the accumulation of low molecular mass carbohydrate cryoprotectants, adjusting membrane lipid composition, use of cold-active small molecules or antifreeze proteins that inhibit ice recrystallization, and synthesis of cold-adapted enzymes. Understanding the molecular mechanism and adaptation mechanism of psychrophilic microorganisms will provide new pathway for biological evolution and benefit in applications of psychrophilic microbes in the future.


csp gene Chaperones Antifreeze proteins Proteome Enzymes 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiuling Ji
    • 1
  • Yunlin Wei
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Life Science and TechnologyKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingPeople’s Republic of China

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