Thermus aquaticus

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Thermus aquaticus is a thermophilic bacterium that is isolated from thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park, California [1]. Isolates of T. aquaticus are gram-negative nonsporulating nonmotile rods which frequently form long filaments at supra-optimal temperatures [2]. This bacterium has revolutionised the PCR technique as from it, the enzyme Taq polymerase has been harvested. Taq polymerase can withstand the high temperatures required to break the hydrogen bonds during PCR and will not denature.

The Thermus aquaticus can survive in temperatures ranging from 50°C to 80°C, and growth conditions thrive at approximately 70°C. The cylindrical bacterium is a chemotroph whereby it gains energy from the oxidation of electron donors[3].

The genome of Thermus aquaticus encompasses one chromosome, along with four plasmids, altogether giving a total of over 2mb of genetic content, containing many CRISPR regions. Another interesting feature of the Thermus aquaticus genome is the fact that regions typically found on the megaplasmid of a bacterial genome are surprisingly located on the main chromosome of this species, which also comprises partial prophage regions, which show sequence similarity to Thermus species 2.9 [4]

References

  1. Brock TD, Freeze H. (1969 Apr) Thermus aquaticus gen. n. and sp. n., a nonsporulating extreme thermophile. J Bacteriol. 98(1):289-97
  2. Brock TD, Freeze H. (1969 Apr) Thermus aquaticus gen. n. and sp. n., a nonsporulating extreme thermophile. J Bacteriol. 98(1):289-97
  3. Life at High Temperatures - Thomas D.Brock. 1994.[ONLINE] Available at: http://bioinfo.bact.wisc.edu/themicrobialworld/LAHT/b27.html. [Accessed 1994].
  4. Brumm PJ, Monsma S, Keough B, Jasinovica S, Ferguson E, Schoenfeld T, Lodes M and Mead DA. Complete Genome Sequence of Thermus aquaticus Y51MC23. PLOS ONE. 2015;10.
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