Taxonomy of Psychrophiles

Reference work entry


Psychrophiles are extremophiles that are capable of growth and reproduction at low temperatures. The environments they inhabit are ubiquitous on Earth, as a large fraction of our planet’s surface is at temperatures lower than 15°C. They are present in the Arctic and Antarctica, glaciers, alpine regions, and deep sea. Psychrophiles utilize a wide variety of metabolic pathways, including photosynthesis, chemoautotrophy, and heterotrophy, and form robust, diverse communities. Psychrophiles are characterized by lipid cell membranes chemically resistant to hardening in response to the cold. In some cases, they create antifreeze protein to maintain their internal space in liquid form even at temperatures below the freezing point of water. Additionally, an understanding of their biology will lead to insights into astrobiology, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and geomicrobiology, the study of microbes active in geochemical processes. Most psychrophiles are Bacteria or...


Respiratory Quinone Isoprenoid Quinone Psychrophilic Bacterium Shewanella Species Genus Flavobacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Extremobiosphere Research Program, Institute of BiogeosciencesJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokosukaJapan

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