Studies on extremophiles, microorganisms able to survive in extreme environments, are very helpful for the comprehension of life evolution; in fact they are the unique organisms of the Earth at the origin of life. They lie into the three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya) and can be found in environmental niches on Earth such as in hydrothermal vents and springs, in salty lakes, in halite crystals, in polar ice and lakes, in volcanic areas, in deserts, or under anaerobic conditions. The existence of life forms beyond the Earth requires an extension of the classical limits of life: the resistance of extremophilic organisms to harsh conditions in terms of temperature, salinity, pH, pressure, dryness, and desiccation makes these living organisms good putative candidates to assess the habitability of other planets. The ability to survive and proliferate in extreme conditions (pH, temperature, pressure, salt, and nutrients) produces a variety of biotechnologically useful molecules such as lipids, enzymes, polysaccharides, and compatible solutes that are employed in several industrial processes. There are many extremophilic enzymes and also endogenous compounds that are used with success for food industry, for preparation of the detergents, for pharmacological applications, and also for genetic studies. In particular enzymes that derive from thermophiles, and for this reason called thermozymes, represent an excellent sources of new catalysts of interest in industrial sectors.

Biotechnology Implications of Extremophiles as Life Pioneers and Wellspring of Valuable Biomolecules

DI DONATO, Paola;
2016

Abstract

Studies on extremophiles, microorganisms able to survive in extreme environments, are very helpful for the comprehension of life evolution; in fact they are the unique organisms of the Earth at the origin of life. They lie into the three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya) and can be found in environmental niches on Earth such as in hydrothermal vents and springs, in salty lakes, in halite crystals, in polar ice and lakes, in volcanic areas, in deserts, or under anaerobic conditions. The existence of life forms beyond the Earth requires an extension of the classical limits of life: the resistance of extremophilic organisms to harsh conditions in terms of temperature, salinity, pH, pressure, dryness, and desiccation makes these living organisms good putative candidates to assess the habitability of other planets. The ability to survive and proliferate in extreme conditions (pH, temperature, pressure, salt, and nutrients) produces a variety of biotechnologically useful molecules such as lipids, enzymes, polysaccharides, and compatible solutes that are employed in several industrial processes. There are many extremophilic enzymes and also endogenous compounds that are used with success for food industry, for preparation of the detergents, for pharmacological applications, and also for genetic studies. In particular enzymes that derive from thermophiles, and for this reason called thermozymes, represent an excellent sources of new catalysts of interest in industrial sectors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/49763
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