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Provides updated information and comprehensive overview about life at the edge in extreme environments
Presents an in-depth review on the limits of life under multiple forms of stress
Discussion on the molecular mechanisms that enable microorganisms to thrive under extreme conditions of temperature, pH, Salinity and combinations of these factors
Many Microorganisms and some macro-organisms can live under extreme conditions. For example, high and low temperature, acidic and alkaline conditions, high salt areas, high pressure, toxic compounds, high level of ionizing radiation, anoxia and absence of light, etc. Many organisms inhabit environments characterized by more than one form of stress (Polyextremophiles). Among them are those who live in hypersaline and alkaline, hot and acidic, cold/hot and high hydrostatic pressure, etc. Polyextremophiles found in desert regions have to cope with intense UV irradiation and desiccation, high as well as low temperatures, and low availability of water and nutrients. The chapters of this book provide an updated picture of our current understanding of the distribution of polyextremophilic microorganisms in nature and about the special physiological and biochemical properties that enable them to withstand multiple environmental extremes. It provides descriptions of unusual and less explored ecosystems such as Earth's cryosphere, marine hypersaline deeps, hot and cold desert environments, hot springs with elevated temperature and low or high pH. This book provides novel results of application to polyextremophiles research ranging from nanotechnology to synthetic biology to the origin of life and beyond. The topics of this volume are of importance not only for the understanding of the limits of life on Earth, but also for Astrobiology with the exploration of the possibility of life ‘as we know it’ to be present on other extraterrestrial bodies in the Universe.
PART 1: OPENING CHAPTERS Introduction; J. Seckbach et al. Foreword; R.W. Castenholz Preface; K. Horikoshi List of Authors and Their Addresses PART 2: GENERAL ASPECTS Polyextremophiles and the Constraints for Terrestrial Habitability; M.C. Capece et al. Life on the Edge and Astrobiology: Who Is Who in the Polyextremophiles World; J. Seckbach The Dynamic Genomes of Acidophiles; F. J. López de Saro et al. PART 3: HALOPHILES Two Centuries of Microbiological Research in the Wadi Natrun, Egypt: A Model System for the Study of the Ecology, Physiology, and Taxonomy of Haloalkaliphilic Microorganisms; A. Oren Adaptation in Haloalkaliphiles and Natronophilic Bacteria; H.L. Banciu and D.Y. Sorokin A Random Biogeochemical Walk into Three Soda Lakes of the Western USA: With an Introduction to a Few of their Microbial Denizens; R.S. Oremland Halophilic, Acidophilic, and Haloacidophilic Prokaryotes; H. Minegishi Life in Magnesium- and Calcium-Rich Hypersaline Environments: Salt Stress by Chaotropic Ions; A. Oren Survival Strategies of Halophilic Oligotrophic and Desiccation Resistant Prokaryotes; H. Stan-Lotter and S. Fendrihan Radiation Resistance in Extremophiles: Fending Off Multiple Attacks; K.M. Webb and J. DiRuggiero PART 4: THERMOPHILES Thermoalkaliphilic Microbes; V. Kumar and T. Satyanarayana Acido- and Thermophilic Microorganisms, Their Features and Identification of Novel Enzymes or Pathways; Y. Kawarabayasi Microbial Diversity in Acidic High Temperature Steam Vents; R.L. Weiss Bizzoco and S.T. Kelley PART 5: PSYCHROPHILES Left Out in the Cold: Life in Cryoenvironments; J. Goordial et al. Microbial Diversity and Enzymes in Ikaite Columns; A Cold and Alkaline Environment in Greenland; J.K. Vester et al. Microbial Communities Thriving in Various Ice Ecosystems; B. Sattler and B. Post Snow Algae. Adaptation Strategies to Survive on Snow and Ice; T. Leya Adaptation of Antarctic Freshwater Green Algae to the Extreme Environments; H. Hu PART 6: PRESSURE Deep Sub-Surface Oil Reservoirs as Poly-Extreme Habitats for Microbial Life. A Current Review; A. Wentzel et al. Expanding Limits for Life to a New Dimension: Microbial Growth at Hypergravity; S. Deguchi and K. Horikoshi PART 7: OXYGEN RELATIONSHIPS Microbial Eukaryotes in Marine Oxygen Minimum Zones; W.D. Orsi and V.P. Edgcomb Deep Hypersaline Anoxic Basins as Model Systems for Environmental Selection of Microbial Plankton; A. Stock et al. Microbial Eukaryotes in Hypersaline Anoxic Deep Sea Basins; V.P. Edgcomb and W.D. Orsi Life at High Salt and Low Oxygen: How Do the Halobacteriaceae Cope with Low Oxygen Concentrations in their Environment?; A. Oren PART 8: SELECTED ORGANISMS Niches and Adaptations of Polyextremotolerant Black Fungi; M. Grube et al. Polyextremophilic Photoautotrophic Eukaryotic Algae; W. Reisser Extremophilic Magnetotactic Bacteria; C.T. Lefèvre and D. A. Bazylinski Multicellular Extremophiles – The Case of the Tardigrades; D. Schulze-Makuch and J. Seckbach PART 9: FINAL COMMENTS Polyextremophiles - Summary and Conclusions; J. Chela Flores Erratum Organism Index Subject Index Author Index