Details for Picrophilaceae

Participants Studying this Organism
Thermal Features for this Organism


NCBI Taxonomy ID: 46630
NCBI Taxonomy Rank: Family
A phylogenetic relative of Thermoplasma and Ferroplasma is Picrophilus. Although Thermoplasma and Ferroplasma are extreme acidophiles, Picrophilus is even more so, growing optimally at pH 0.7 and capable of growth to as low as pH -0.06! Picrophilus differs from Thermoplasma and Ferroplasma in other ways as well, including having a cell wall (an S-layer) and has much lower DNA GC base ratio. The physiology of Picrophilus is clearly of interest as a model for acid tolerance. Studies of its cytoplasmic membrane suggest an unusual arrangement of lipids that form an extremely acid impermeable membrane at optimal pH values. By contrast, at only moderately acidic pH such as pH 4, the membranes of cells of Picrophilus quickly become leaky and literally disintegrate, clearly indicating that this organism has evolved to survive only in highly acidic habitats.
Taken from the text Brock Biology of Microorganisms (10th ed.). Madigan, M.T., Martinko, J.M., and Parker, J. 2003. Prentice Hall. 458p.