, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 495–503 | Cite as

Transcriptional responses of the deep-sea hyperthermophile Methanocaldococcus jannaschii under shifting extremes of temperature and pressure

  • Boonchai B. Boonyaratanakornkit
  • Li Yan Miao
  • Douglas S. ClarkEmail author
Original Paper


Growth and transcriptional profiles of the deep-sea methanarchaeon Methanocaldococcus jannaschii were studied under sudden up-shifts of temperature and pressure. Application of 500 atm of hyperbaric pressure shifted the optimal growth temperature upwards by about 5°C in a high temperature–pressure bioreactor, and increased the specific growth rate threefold at 88°C. In contrast, pressure-shock from 7.8 to 500 atm over 15 min, the first such pressure up-shift reported for a piezophile, did not accelerate growth. High-pressure heat-shock from 88 to 98°C, a condition relevant to the turbulent in situ surroundings of deep-sea hydrothermal vents, resulted in termination of growth. Transcriptional profiles for cells grown at 88°C and 500 atm, heat-shocked at 500 atm, and pressure-shocked to 500 atm, shared a subset of genes whose differential expression was attributed to elevated pressure. In the pressure-shock case, this transcriptional response was evident despite the absence of a piezophilic growth response. In all, despite the piezophilic capacity and high-pressure origins of M. jannaschii, the core pressure response was remarkably limited and consisted of differential expression of genes encoding three hypothetical proteins and a gene involved in DNA recombination.


Barophiles Deep-sea thermophiles Methanogens Piezophysiology Piezophiles High-pressure biosciences Archaea 



We thank Dr. Chan Beum Park (Arizona State University) and the UC Berkeley Machine, Electric, and Glass Shops (College of Chemistry) for help in the design and construction of the high-pressure, high-temperature bioreactor system, Merrill Birkner (Statistics, UC Berkeley) for helpful comments on the manuscript, and Najib M. A. El-Sayed (TIGR), Anjana J. Simpson (TIGR), and Vivian Peng (Functional Genomics Lab, Berkeley) for assistance in the design and fabrication of the M. jannaschii cDNA array. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (BES-0224733).


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boonchai B. Boonyaratanakornkit
    • 1
  • Li Yan Miao
    • 1
  • Douglas S. Clark
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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