What is the most cold-adapted microorganism?

Andras Szilagyi szia at hanga.enzim.hu
Wed Jun 11 10:32:11 EST 1997


What is the most cold-adapted microorganism?

I read in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (the macropaedia part, chapter
"Life") that there is a microorganism living in a salty lake at the
Antarctica that continues to metabolize down to -23 degrees Celsius. The
water does not freeze at this temperature because it contains potassium in
a huge concentration (there is a potassium ion for every two water
molecules in it). 

Sounds like a quite interesting organism; it's an extreme
pyschrohalophile. But unfortunately, the Encyclopaedia does not name that
organism. Anybody knows the name of it? Any references about it? And is
this really the most cold-adapted microorganism? 

Andras Szilagyi (szia at enzim.hu)
Institute of Enzymology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Karolina ut 29., H-1113 Budapest, HUNGARY
Fax: +36 1 166 5465, phone: +36 1 166 5633




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