Details for Thermocrinis ruber

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Thermal Features for this Organism

Thermocrinis ruber

NCBI Taxonomy ID: 75906
NCBI Taxonomy Rank: Species
Thermocrinus ruber, the first identified Thermocrinus, grows in the outflow of certain hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, where it forms pink "streamers" consisting of a filamentous form of the cells attached to siliceous sinter. In static culture, cells of T. ruber grow as individual rod-shaped cells. However, when cultured in a flowing system in which growth medium is trickled over a solid glass surface to which cells can attach, Thermocrinus takes on the streamer form, just as it exists in its constantly flowing habitat in nature.

T. ruber is of historical significance in microbiology because it was one of the organisms studied in the 1960s by Thomas Brock, a pioneer in the field of thermal biology. The discovery by Brock that the pink streamers contained protein and nucleic acids clearly indicated that they were living organisms and not just mineral debris. Moreover, the presence of streamers in the outflow of hot springs at 80-90°C but not at lower temperatures supported Brock's hypothesis that hot spring microbial life forms actually require high temperatures for growth, and were likely to be present even in boiling water. Both of these conclusions were subsequently supported by the discovery of literally dozens of genera of hyperthermophilic prokaryotes inhabiting hot springs, hydrothermal vents, and other thermal environments.

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Taken from the text Brock Biology of Microorganisms (10th ed.). Madigan, M.T., Martinko, J.M., and Parker, J. 2003. Prentice Hall. 442-443p.