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Psychrophilic Extremophiles from Antarctica: Biodiversity and Biotechnological Potential
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 16:31 authored by John BowmanJohn Bowman, Abell, GC, Mancuso Nichols, CA
Recently there has been a rapid accumulation of knowledge of microbial life in cold and frozen ecosystems. This understanding has revealed the extensive diversity of psychrophilic prokaryotes. Cultivation-based and molecular-based surveys have been performed in Antarctic habitats ranging from glacial ice to continental shelf sediments. Results indicate that psychrophilic taxa permeate throughout the Bacteria while they represent a more mysterious element of diversity in the Archaea owing to a notable lack of cultured strains. In certain cold climate ecosystems the diversity of psychrophilic populations reach levels comparable to the richest temperate equivalents. Within these communities must exist tremendous genetic diversity that is potentially of fundamental and of practical value. So far this genetic pool has been hardly explored. Only recently have genomic data become available for various psychrophilic prokaryotes and more is required. This owes to the fact that psychrophilic microbes possess manifold mechanisms for cold adaptations, which not only provide enhanced survival and persistence but probably also contributes to niche specialisation. These mechanisms, including cold-active and ice-active proteins, polyunsaturated lipids and exopolysaccharides also have a great interest to biotechnologists.
Publication titleOcean and Polar Research
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherKorea Ocean Research and Development Institute
Place of publicationKorea, Republic of