Diversity of Thermophilic Microorganisms and Their Roles in Carbon Cycle
Shi-Qi Ji, Dong-Dong Meng, Kun-Di Zhang and Fu-Li Li
from: Thermophilic Microorganisms (Edited by: Fu-Li Li). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 13-46.
Thermophiles are a large category of microorganisms that show optimum growth at temperatures of 50°C or higher. These microbes thrive in various environments in both marine and terrestrial habitats. The ability of microorganisms to proliferate under extreme conditions is of widespread importance in microbial physiology, ecological cycle, industry and evolution. Thermophiles play a complex role in ecosystem maintenance, particularly with respect to carbon cycle and biomass deconstruction. These ecological processes are carried out by various thermophilic microorganisms. Temperature is one of the most important factors controlling the activities and evolution of organisms, and limited species diversity found in extreme environments suggests that many organisms lack the capacity for successful adaptation to these environments. High-temperature environments are of special interest, in that they reveal the extremes to which evolution has been pushed. In this chapter, the diversity of thermophiles and their distinct strategies in carbon cycling and biomass degradation are discussed read more ...