Distribution of Piezophiles

Numerous cold deep-sea adapted microorganisms (piezophilic, formerly referred to as “barophilic” bacteria) have been isolated using deep-sea research submersibles and/or several sediment/animal sampling systems. Many of the isolates from cold sea bottom are novel psychrophilic bacteria, and we have identified several new piezophilic species, that is, Photobacterium profundum, Shewanella violacea, Moritella japonica, Moritella yayanosii, Psychromonas kaikoi, and Colwellia piezophila. These piezophiles involve five genera in gamma-Proteobacteria subgroup and produce significant amounts of unsaturated fatty acids in their cell membrane fractions to maintain the membrane fluidity in cold and high-pressure environments. Piezophilic microorganisms have been identified in deep-sea bottoms of many of the world’s oceans. Therefore, these microbes are well distributed on our planet. This chapter focuses on the distribution and taxonomy of the piezophilic microorganisms and their growth habitats.


Japan Trench Psychrophilic Bacterium Psychrotrophic Bacterium Shewanella Species Gene Sequence Information 



I am very grateful to Prof. Koki Horikoshi for continued support of my extremophile studies. I also thank my colleagues, Drs. Maria Smorawinska, Lina Li, Takako Sato, Yuichi Nogi and Kaoru Nakasone, for excellent collaboration. Finally, I appreciate the crews of the research ship and members of the submersible operation division at JAMSTEC for their efforts in collecting samples from the deep-sea environment.


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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BiogeosciencesJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokosukaJapan

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