Diversity of Psychrophilic Bacteria from Sea Ice - and Glacial Ice Communities


Earth is primarily a cold, marine planet with 90% of the ocean’s waters being at 5°C or lower. Frozen soils (permafrost), glaciers and ice sheets, polar sea ice, and snow cover make up 20% of the Earth’s surface environments (Deming and Eicken 2007). A great diversity of microorganisms has been found in these habitats. However, only those that are adapted to life in the cold can be active in them and thus influence biogeochemical cycles.

Cold-adapted microbes are termed psychrophiles or cold-loving, having minimum, optimum and maximum growth temperatures at or below 0°C, 15°C, and 20°C, respectively or psychrotolerant(with growth maxima above 25°C but the capacity to grow to very low temperature (Morita 1975). Recently, additional definitions have been proposed, such as “moderate psychrophiles” with a minimum and maximum growth temperature at or below 0°C and 25°C (Helmke and Weyland 2004), “psychro-active” (organisms growing at or below −1°C, Laucks et al. 2005) and the...


Psychrophilic Bacterium Maximum Growth Temperature Brine Channel Brine Volume Polaromonas Vacuolata 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Junge
    • 1
  • Brent Christner
    • 2
  • James T. Staley
    • 3
  1. 1.Polar Science Center, Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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