Microbes that reproduce and grow in the temperature range
40° to 70°C (104° to 158°F). A key thermophilic adaptation
of an organism is the presence of heat stable proteins.
These proteins are more densely packed to exclude internal water, are more
hydrophobic, have more salt bridges, and have more saturated and longer
chained fatty acids. Thermophilic archaea
have ether-linked, branched chain fatty acids that are more hydrophobic
|Photomicrographs of a subseafloor thermophile isolated
from deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluids. This organism eats sulfur
and hydrogen and fixes its own carbon from carbon dioxide. (A, B)
Scanning electron micrographs, and (C, D) transmission electron micrographs
thin sections. Image courtesy of Julie Huber. Text: NOAA
Capable of thriving at even higher temperatures than thermophiles are hyperthermophiles.