Thermoacidophile

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A thermoacidophile (combination of thermophile and acidophile) is an extreme archeon which thrives in acidous, sulfur-rich, high temperature environments with low avalability of organic material.

Thermoacidophiles prefer temperatures of 70 - 80 °C and pH between 2 and 3. They live mostly in hot springs like solfatares and/or within deep ocean vent communities. Classified as an archeon and an extremophile, Thermoacidophiles are found in places where most organisms would not survive.

Most of thermoacidophiles have aerobic or at least microaerophilic metabolism.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

Thermoacidophiles belong to the Domain Archaea.

There are many unique characteristics that make up these prokaryotes. They are specially resistant to high temperatures and high acid concentrations. They have a plasma membrane which contains high amounts of saturated fats, and its enzymes are able to withstand extreme conditions without denaturation.

Possibly the progenitor of cellular life[edit]

The similarities between DNA sequences of thermoacidophiles, and other Archaea, and complex eukaryotes provides support to Archaea being the progenitor Domain for the first cellular life on Earth. They were able to thrive on the early, warmer Earth with an atmosphere that lacked oxygen.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zaparty, Melanie; Siebers, Bettina, eds. (2011). "Physiology, Metabolism, and Enzymology of Thermoacidophiles". Extremophiles Handbook. Yokohama: Springer Japan. ISBN 978-4-431-53897-4.