Physiology and biochemistry of extremophiles
Charles Gerday, Nicolas Glansdorff
Amer Society for Microbiology
, 2007 - Medical
- 429 pages
Ever since extremophiles were discovered in 1965 in the near-boiling water of the Octopus Spring geyser at Yellowstone National Park, they have forever changed our perceptions of living organisms. Physiology and Biochemistry of Extremophiles presents the most comprehensive survey of these fascinating microorganisms. Because of their capacity to live and thrive in harsh environments, extremophiles are believed to have played a significant role in shaping all life on Earth and may hold the keys to the search for extra-terrestrial life. Owing to their unique characteristics, these organisms also have become vitally important to the field of biotechnology. This volume provides a detailed overview of the current state of knowledge about this special group of organisms. The 28 chapters written by experts around the globe identify extremophiles, explore their unique ecologies, explain their physiologies, and discuss biotechnological applications. This extensive and up-to-date survey is the first to thoroughly describe the environments where these organisms reside and sheds light, at the molecular level, on the mechanisms that enable these unique organisms to survive. Covering all known types of extremophiles (including thermophiles, psychrophiles, halophiles, acidophiles, piezophiles, and alkaliphiles), this volume is an indispensable reference for the latest knowledge about all extremophiles and their environments. Additionally, the authors clarify the critical importance of extremophiles to astrobiology and the search for the origins of life. This is an essential volume for several categories of scientists, including microbiologists, biochemists, physiologists, biotechnology specialists, andecologists. It should be of interest to physical scientists, such as chemists and astronomers, as well.