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Thermococcus gammatolerans
Scientific classification

Zillig and Reysenbach 2002
  • "Methanofastidiosia" corrig. Nobu et al. 2016
  • Protoarchaea Cavalier-Smith 2002
  • "Thermococcia" Oren, Parte & Garrity 2016
Schematic diagram of the Thermococcus gammatolerans cell pictured above.
Pyrococcus furiosus

In taxonomy, the Thermococci are a class of microbes within the Euryarchaeota.[1]

They live in extremely hot environments, such as hydrothermal vents, and they have optimal growth temperatures above 80 °C. Thermococcus and Pyrococcus (literally "balls of fire") are both obligately anaerobic chemoorganotrophs.

Thermococcus prefers 70–95 °C and Pyrococcus 70-100 °C. Palaeococcus helgesonii, recently discovered in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is an aerobic chemoheterotrophic that grows at temperatures of 45–85 °C with an optimal temperature of 80 °C. Thermococcus gammatolerans sp. nov. was recently discovered in the Guaymas Basin, and it grows at temperatures from 55–95 °C with an optimal temperaturearound 88 °C with an optimal pH of 6. It has pronounced radioresistance and can survive gamma radiation at 30 kGy.[2]

Thermococcus grows on organic substrates where there is a higher capacity of elemental sulfur. This archaeon mostly grows between temperatures 60–100 degrees Celsius. The average temperature where they thrive is around 85 degrees Celcius.

The DNA structure has a cicular genome with around 2,353 coding sequence, and 2,306 are identified.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See the NCBI webpage on Thermococci. Data extracted from the "NCBI taxonomy resources". National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  2. ^ "Airspade". Retrieved 13 June 2023.

Further reading[edit]