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Macromolecules in thermophiles and hyperthermophiles show some notable structural differences from what is observed in the mesophiles. The ratio of saturated to polyunsaturated lipids increases to limit the fluidity of the cell membranes. Their DNA sequences show a higher proportion of guanine–cytosine nitrogenous bases, which are held together by three hydrogen bonds in contrast to adenine and thymine, which are connected in the double helix by two hydrogen bonds. Additional secondary ionic and covalent bonds, as well as the replacement of key amino acids to stabilize folding, contribute to the resistance of proteins to denaturation. The so-called thermoenzymes purified from thermophiles have important practical applications. For example, amplification of nucleic acids in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) depends on the thermal stability of Taq polymerase , an enzyme isolated from T. aquaticus . Degradation enzymes from thermophiles are added as ingredients in hot-water detergents, increasing their effectiveness.

  • What temperature requirements do most bacterial human pathogens have?
  • What DNA adaptation do thermophiles exhibit?

Feeding the world…and the world’s algae

Artificial fertilizers have become an important tool in food production around the world. They are responsible for many of the gains of the so-called green revolution of the 20th century, which has allowed the planet to feed many of its more than 7 billion people. Artificial fertilizers provide nitrogen and phosphorus, key limiting nutrients, to crop plants, removing the normal barriers that would otherwise limit the rate of growth. Thus, fertilized crops grow much faster, and farms that use fertilizer produce higher crop yields.

However, careless use and overuse of artificial fertilizers have been demonstrated to have significant negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems, both freshwater and marine. Fertilizers that are applied at inappropriate times or in too-large quantities allow nitrogen and phosphorus compounds to escape use by crop plants and enter drainage systems. Inappropriate use of fertilizers in residential settings can also contribute to nutrient loads, which find their way to lakes and coastal marine ecosystems. As water warms and nutrients are plentiful, microscopic algae bloom, often changing the color of the water because of the high cell density.

Most algal blooms are not directly harmful to humans or wildlife; however, they can cause harm indirectly. As the algal population expands and then dies, it provides a large increase in organic matter to the bacteria that live in deep water. With this large supply of nutrients, the population of nonphotosynthetic microorganisms explodes, consuming available oxygen and creating “ dead zone s” where animal life has virtually disappeared.

Depletion of oxygen in the water is not the only damaging consequence of some algal blooms. The algae that produce red tides in the Gulf of Mexico, Karenia brevis , secrete potent toxins that can kill fish and other organisms and also accumulate in shellfish. Consumption of contaminated shellfish can cause severe neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms in humans. Shellfish beds must be regularly monitored for the presence of the toxins, and harvests are often shut down when it is present, incurring economic costs to the fishery. Cyanobacteria, which can form blooms in marine and freshwater ecosystems, produce toxins called microcystins , which can cause allergic reactions and liver damage when ingested in drinking water or during swimming. Recurring cyanobacterial algal blooms in Lake Erie ( [link] ) have forced municipalities to issue drinking water bans for days at a time because of unacceptable toxin levels.

This is just a small sampling of the negative consequences of algal blooms, red tides, and dead zones. Yet the benefits of crop fertilizer—the main cause of such blooms—are difficult to dispute. There is no easy solution to this dilemma, as a ban on fertilizers is not politically or economically feasible. In lieu of this, we must advocate for responsible use and regulation in agricultural and residential contexts, as well as the restoration of wetlands, which can absorb excess fertilizers before they reach lakes and oceans.

An aerial photo of green swirls in the water of lake Erie.
Heavy rains cause runoff of fertilizers into Lake Erie, triggering extensive algal blooms, which can be observed along the shoreline. Notice the brown unplanted and green planted agricultural land on the shore. (credit: NASA)

Key concepts and summary

  • Microorganisms thrive at a wide range of temperatures; they have colonized different natural environments and have adapted to extreme temperatures. Both extreme cold and hot temperatures require evolutionary adjustments to macromolecules and biological processes.
  • Psychrophiles grow best in the temperature range of 0–15 °C whereas psychrotrophs thrive between 4°C and 25 °C.
  • Mesophiles grow best at moderate temperatures in the range of 20 °C to about 45 °C. Pathogens are usually mesophiles.
  • Thermophiles and hyperthemophiles are adapted to life at temperatures above 50 °C.
  • Adaptations to cold and hot temperatures require changes in the composition of membrane lipids and proteins.

Matching

Match the type of bacterium with its environment. Each choice may be used once, more than once, or not at all. Put the appropriate letter beside the environment.

___psychotroph A. water heater set at 50 °C
___mesophile B. hydrothermal vent
___thermophile C. deep ocean waters
___hyperthermophile D. human pathogen
___psychrophile E. soil bacteria in temperate forest

C, D, E, B, A

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Short answer

How are hyperthermophile’s proteins adapted to the high temperatures of their environment?

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Why would NASA be funding microbiology research in Antarctica?

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Questions & Answers

what z microbiology
Mwelwa Reply
microbiology is all about the scientific study of microorganisms, their life changes, their life span, structural punctuality and their phenomenon.
Ridwan
thanks
micah
Best scope in microbiology
Rahul
wat abut skin
Elyas
what happened when someone died and what happened to the blood
Franca Reply
nice question
Attari
when you die you have no memory and the blood dry off
Falere
what microorganisms is all about?
Ridwan
And how many does the microorganisms is classified?
Ridwan
what is endoparasites and exo parasite and their example
OGEDE Reply
Endo : inside the body Exo/ecto : outside or on the body
Paul
examples please
OGEDE
Louse for exo/ecto Helminths (worms) for endo
Paul
what's prokaryotic
mohaiminul Reply
A prokaryotic cell is a cell with no membrane bounds organelles
Paul
what are the main effect of parasite?
yunusa Reply
nutritional group of micro organism
Mana Reply
what are the charateristic bacteria, eukaryotes, and viruses have in commom
Ami Reply
D N A ar purno rup ki
Ruba Reply
বাংলায় দেখবো DNA এর পূর্রন্যরুপ কি
Ruba
what's microbiology
micah
micro biology is the study of micro organisms,those being unicellular multicellular or a cellular
aniisha
deoxyribonucleic acid is a long molecule that contains our unique genetic code.
aniisha
Does the parasite/parasitology are under microbiology or not
yunusa
Define bacteria
Kainat
Bacteria are a type of biological cell & they constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms.
raisa
what kind of microbiology
Mira
hello what is main function of T and B cells
Ishaq Reply
T cells are involved in cell-mediated immunity while B cells are primarily responsible for humoral immunity (relating to antibodies)
Janet
what is hepatitis B
Sunday
it's viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic diseases. the virus is most commonly transmitted from mother to child during birth and delivery, as well as through contact with blood or other body fluids...
Dejene
What are fundamental experiment of microbiology?
Lucky Reply
study of microscopic organisms, unicellular and multicellular
Falere
what are the characteristics of bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotes
Ami
bacteria-are living organism. contain a peptidoglycan/lipopolysaccharide cell wall. VIRUS-are considered as organic structure which interact with living organism don't have acell wall. they have many differents like bacteria size -large(1000nm) virus size-smaller(20-400nm). bacteria ribosomes presen
Dejene
virus ribosomes absence. bacteria living organism. virus b/n living and non-living things
Dejene
eukaryotic cell has a true membrane bond nucleus and has other membranous organelles that allow for compartmenalization of function
Dejene
This answer is wrong
Jeffrey Reply
who discovered the growth curve
Joy Reply
Example of coccus bacteria
Nweke Reply
staphylococcus aureus
Elton
MRSA any bew information
Satish
pl. read any new information about MRSA
Satish
Any stru tural finding about novel corona virus
Satish
Examples of spiral bacteria
Nweke Reply
Example of Bacillus bacteria
Nweke
pusals
manikanta
another one
Nweke
what is the desifection decontamination or sterilization
Sahra Reply
Is the removal of dangerous substances or germs from an area, objects or person
Florence
It is the removal of any pathogen, including their spores
Paul
removal of all forms of life including endospore
abdulbasid
I think there is a difference between disinfection and sterilization... we should consider those....
Mosimanegape
disinfection deals with removing harmful microbes at the surface level it doesn't destroy or kill spores ( it uses oxidizing agents ,alcohols , phenolic comp ,aldehydes etc) but sterilization deals with total elimination of all forms of lives.(this uses heat, steam, radiation and chemicals)
Onyinye
disinfecting is preventing microorganisms while sterilization is killing of microorganisms completely
Janet

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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