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Psychrophilic Extremophiles from Antarctica: Biodiversity and Biotechnological Potential


Bowman, JP and Abell, GC and Mancuso Nichols, CA, Psychrophilic Extremophiles from Antarctica: Biodiversity and Biotechnological Potential, Ocean and Polar Research, 27, (2) pp. 221-230. ISSN 1598-141X (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.4217/OPR.2005.27.2.221


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Phylogeny and comparative analysis
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Bowman, JP (Associate Professor John Bowman)
UTAS Author:Abell, GC (Mr Guy Abell)
UTAS Author:Mancuso Nichols, CA (Dr Carol Mancuso Nichols)
ID Code:33946
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2006-05-04

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