Extremophiles are organisms with the ability to thrive in extreme conditions (from a human perspective) such as: deep ocean hydroothermal vents.
They are mostly prokaryotic.
Extremophiles can be divided into sub-groups relating to environmental conditions in which they grow optimally:
|acidophilic||optimal growth in acidic conditions (pH 1-5)|
|alkaliphilic||optimal growth alkaline conditions (pH>9)|
|halophilic||environments with high salt concentration|
|thermophilic||optimal growth between 60-80 degrees celsius|
|hyperthermophilic||optimal growth above 80 degrees celsius|
|psychrophilic||optimal growth at 15 degrees celsius or lower|
|piezophilic/barophilic||optimal growth high hydrostatic pressure|
|xerophilic||growth in dry conditions with low water availabilty|
|oligotrophic||growth in nutritionally limited environments|
growth in rocks or pores in mineral grains
some extremophiles have multiple adaptions. e.g. thermoacidophiles
extromophiles have extremozymes which are the enzymes that enable the organism to live in harsh conditions. This could influence: genetically based medications and industrial chemicals and processes.