Extremophiles: Microbiology and Biotechnology
Roberto Paul Anitori
Caister Academic Press, 2012 - Science - 299 pages
The vast majority of extremophiles are microbes, mainly archaea and bacteria, but also some eukaryotes. These microbes live under chemical and physical extremes that are usually lethal to cellular molecules, yet they manage to survive and even thrive. Extremophiles have important practical uses. They are a valuable source of industrially-important enzymes, and recent research has revealed novel mechanisms and biomolecular structures with a broad range of potential applications in biotechnology, biomining, and bioremediation. It is likely that biotechnology has only scratched the surface in its search for new organisms of practical use. This book highlights the current and topical areas of research in this rapidly growing field. Expert researchers from around the world provide the latest insights into the mechanisms these fascinating organisms use to survive. The topics covered include the ability of acidophiles to maintain a neutral intracellular pH, the way that psychrophiles "loosen up" their proteins at low temperatures, and other equally ingenious adaptations and metabolic strategies that extremophiles use to survive and flourish under extreme conditions. The book also covers the established biotechnological uses of extremophiles and the most recent and novel applications, including the exploitation of these organisms for enzyme production, as well as their potential use in the generation of sustainable energy and in the oil industry. Aimed at research scientists, students, microbiologists, and biotechnologists, this book will be essential reading. It is a recommended reference text for anyone who is interested in the microbiology of these organisms, as well as for those interested in bioprospecting, biomining, biofuels, and extremozymes.