Huber and Stetter, 1992
Aquifex aeolicus is a rod-shaped bacterium with a length of 2 to 6 micrometers and a diameter of around half a micrometer. It is one of a handful of species in the Aquificae phylum, an unusual group of thermophilic bacteria that are thought to be some of the oldest species of bacteria.
A. aeolicus grows best in water between 85 to 95 °C, and can be found near underwater volcanoes or hot springs. It requires oxygen to survive (though it can grow in levels of oxygen as low as 7.5 ppm), and its method of respiration produces water as a byproduct. ("Aquifex" means "water-maker.") Members of the species tend to form large cell conglomerations, of up to 100 individual cells. It was discovered around islands north of Sicily.
The genome of A. aeolicus has been successfully mapped. This was made easier by the fact that the length of the genome is only about a third of the length of the genome for E. coli. Comparison of the Aquifex aeolicus genome to other organisms showed that around 16% of its genes originated from the Archaea domain. It has the smallest genome of any known non-parasite. Its total genome is 1.5 Mb long and contains 1512 genes. Additionally, it contains a single extrachromosomal element (ECE).
A. aeolicus is good candidate for biotechnological use due to its high stability against oxygen and high temperature. This can be useful for improving industrial processes.
- Huber, Robert; Swanson, Ronald V.; Deckert, Gerard; Warren, Patrick V.; Gaasterland, Terry; Young, William G.; Lenox, Anna L.; Graham, David E.; et al. (1998). "The complete genome of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus". Nature 392 (6674): 353–8. doi:10.1038/32831. PMID 9537320.
- Guiral, M; Prunetti, L; Aussignargues, C; Ciaccafava, A; Infossi, P; Ilbert, M; Lojou, E; Giudici-Orticoni, M. T. (2012). "The Hyperthermophilic Bacterium Aquifex aeolicus". The hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus: From respiratory pathways to extremely resistant enzymes and biotechnological applications. Advances in Microbial Physiology 61. pp. 125–94. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-394423-8.00004-4. ISBN 9780123944238. PMID 23046953.