Psychrophiles and Psychrotrophs


Psychrophiles are extremophilic bacteria or archaea which are cold‐loving, having an optimal temperature for growth at about 15°C or lower, a maximal temperature for growth at about 20°C and a minimal temperature for growth at 0°C or lower. Psychrotrophs are cold‐tolerant bacteria or archaea that have the ability to grow at low temperatures, but have optimal and maximal growth temperatures above 15 and 20°C, respectively. The Earth has extensive cold ecosystems that do not reach temperatures greater than 5°C (e.g. worldwide deep oceans, polar surface, polar ice‐cap regions, permafrost). Psychrophiles and psychrotrophs are cold‐loving extremophiles adroitly adapted to these environmental conditions, and are often capable of enduring extended periods of cryobiosis.

Keywords: barophiles; cryophiles; cryobiosis; psychrotrophs; psychrophiles; extremophiles


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Moyer, Craig L, and Morita, Richard Y(Apr 2007) Psychrophiles and Psychrotrophs. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000402.pub2]