High Pressure and Prokaryotes

  • Chiaki KatoEmail author


Many species of prokaryotes isolated from the deep ocean environment have been adapted to the high-pressure conditions, and grown well at such pressure conditions. One of the isolates from deep-sea, psychrophilic, moderately piezophilic bacterium Shewanella violacea strain DSS12 grew optimally at 30 MPa and 8°C but also grew well at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa) to 70 MPa conditions (Fig. 5.2.1 , Kato et al. 1995; Nogi et al. 1998). We have examined this strain to elucidate the molecular basis for gene regulation at different pressure conditions because this strain is useful as a model prokaryote for comparing the various features of bacterial physiology under pressure conditions. Proteins, from such deep-sea adapted piezophiles, could be active under high-pressure conditions in general. Actually atmospheric pressure adapted proteins can be inactive under higher-pressure conditions. In the case of respiratory proteins, cell divisional protein FtsZ, RNA polymerase subunit, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), and isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IPMDH), piezophilic proteins were unique for adaptation to high-pressure environment and some of them were much more stable and active under higher-pressure conditions. In addition, we sequenced the genome of this piezophilic bacterium and we expect that many biotechnologically useful proteins can be identified from the genome information.
Fig. 5.2.1

Effects of temperature (a) and pressure (b) on growth of Shewanella violacea strain DSS12. “td” means doubling time (h)


High Hydrostatic Pressure Dihydrofolate Reductase Shewanella Species Quinol Oxidase Shewanella Strain 
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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, Kaoru Nakasone, Hideyuki Tamegai, Mohammad Hassan Qureshi, Eiji Ohmae, Akihiko Ikegami, Akihiro Ishii, and Hiroaki Kawano, for excellent collaboration, and I would like to keep nice relations with them in the future, too. 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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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

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

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