, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 1-13

Thermophilic Microbial Communities of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

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Abstract

The most recent publications on the phylogenetic and functional diversity of thermophilic prokaryotes inhabiting thermal deep-sea environments are reviewed. Along with a general physicochemical characterization of the biotope studied, certain adaptation mechanisms are discussed that are peculiar to the microorganisms inhabiting it. A separate chapter addresses the phylogenetic analysis of deep-sea hydrothermal microbial communities and uncultivated microorganisms recently discovered therein using molecular biological techniques. Physiological groups of thermophilic microorganisms found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents are considered: methanogens, sulfate-, iron-, and sulfur-reducers, aerobic hydrogen-oxidizing prokaryotes, aerobic and anaerobic organotrophs. In most cases, the isolates represent novel taxons.