Skip to main content
Log in

Psychrophiles: A journey of hope

  • Review
  • Published:
Journal of Biosciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Psychrophiles are organisms living in extremely cold conditions within the temperature range of −20°C to + 10°C. These organisms survive in harsh environment by modulating their genetic make-up to thrive in extremely cold conditions. These cold-adaptations are closely associated with changes in the life forms, gene expression, and proteins, enzymes, lipids, etc. This review gives a brief description of the life and genetic adaptations of psychrophiles for their survival in extreme conditions as well as the bioactive compounds that are potential antimicrobials.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Aslam B, Rasool M, Idris A, Muzammil S, Alvi RF, et al. 2020 CRISPR-Cas system: a potential alternative tool to cope antibiotic resistance. Antimicrob. Resist. Infect. Control 9 131

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Bendia AG, Araujo GG, Pulschen AA, Contro B, Duarte RT, et al. 2018 Surviving in hot and cold: psychrophiles and thermophiles from Deception Island Volcano, Antarctica. Extremophiles 22 917–929

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Benforte FC, Colonnella MA, Ricardi MM, Solar Venero EC, Lizarrage L, et al. 2018 Novel role of the LPS core glycosyltransferase waph for cold adaptation in the Antarctic bacterium Pseudomonas extremaustralis. PLOS ONE 13 e0192559

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bister B, Bischoff D, Ströbele M, Riedlinger J, Reicke A, et al. 2004 Abyssomicin C—A polycyclic antibiotic from a marine Verrucosispora strain as an inhibitor of the p-Aminobenzoic acid/tetrahydrofolate biosynthesis pathway. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 43 2574–2576

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Borchert E, Jackson SA, O’Gara F and Dobson ADW 2017 Psychrophiles as a Source of Novel Antimicrobials; in Psychrophiles: From Biodiversity to Biotechnology (2) (ed) Margesin R (Cham: Springer) 527–540

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Bowman JP 2017 Genomic of Psychrophilic Bacteria and Archaea; in Psychrophiles: From Biodiversity to Biotechnology (2) (ed) Margesin R (Cham: Springer) 345–387

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Cacace G, Mazzeo MF, Sorrentino A, Spada V, Malorni A and Siciliano RA 2010 Proteomics for the elucidation of cold adaptation mechanisms in Listeria monocytogenes. J. Proteomics 73 2021–2030

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Cameron KA, Hodson AJ and Osborn AM 2012 Structure and diversity of bacterial, eukaryotic and archaeal communities in glacial cryoconite holes from the Arctic and the Antarctic. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 82 254–267

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Cameron KA, Hagedorn B, Dieser M, Christner BC, Choquette K, et al. 2015 Diversity and potential sources of microbiota associated with snow on western portions of the Greenland ice sheet. Environ. Microbiol. 17 594–609

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Campanaro S, Williams TJ, Burg DW, De Francisci D, Treu L, et al. 2011 Temperature-dependent global gene expression in the Antarctic Archaeon Methanococcoides burtonii. Environ. Microbiol. 13 2018–2038

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Casillo A, Parrilli E, Sannino F, Mitchell DE, Gibson MI, et al. 2016 Structure-activity relationship of the exopolysaccharide from a psychrophilic bacterium: a strategy for Cryoprotection. Carbohydr. Polym. 156 364–371

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cavicchioli R, Amils R, Wagner D and McGenity T 2011 Life and applications of extremophiles. Environ. Microbiol. 13 1903–1907

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Chaudhary DK, Khulan A, Kim DU and Kim J 2020 Flavobacterium cellulosilyticum sp. nov., a novel psychrophilic bacterium isolated from Arctic soil. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 70 44–50

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Chen Z, Feng D, Zhang B, Wang Q, Luo Y and Dong X 2015 Proteomic insights into the temperature responses of a cold-adaptive Archaeon Methanolobus psychrophilus R15. Extremophiles 19 249–259

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Colangelo-Lillis JR and Deming JW 2013 Genomic analysis of cold-active Colwelliaphage 9A and psychrophilic phage-host interactions. Extremophiles 17 99–114

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Collins T and Margesin R 2019 Psychrophilic lifestyles: mechanisms of adaptation and biotechnological tools. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 103 2857–2871

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Collins RE, Rocap G and Deming JW 2010 Persistence of bacterial and archaeal communities in sea ice through an Arctic winter. Environ. Microbiol. 12 1828–1841

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Cook G, Teufel A, Kalra I, Li W, Wang X, et al. 2019 The Antarctic psychrophiles Chlamydomonas spp. UWO241 and ICE-MDV exhibit differential restructuring of photosystem I in response to iron. Photosynth. Res. 141 209–228

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dalmaso GZL, Ferreira D and Vermelho AB 2015 Marine extremophiles a source of hydrolases for biotechnological applications. Mar. Drugs 13 1925–1965

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • D’Amico S, Collins T, Marx JC, Feller G and Gerday C 2006 Psychrophilic microorganisms: challenges for life. EMBO Rep. 7 385–389

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • De Maayer P, Anderson D, Cary C and Cowan DA 2014 Some like it cold: understanding the survival strategies of psychrophiles. EMBO Rep. 15 508–517

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dieser M, Broemsen EL, Cameron KA, King GM, Achberger A, et al. 2014 Molecular and biogeochemical evidence for methane cycling beneath the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet. ISME J. 8 2305–2316

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Dutta A and Chaudhuri K 2010 Analysis of tRNA composition and folding in psychrophilic, mesophilic and thermophilic genomes: indications for thermal adaptation. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 305 100–108

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dziewit L and Bartosik D 2014 Plasmids of psychrophilic and psychrotolerant bacteria and their role in adaptation to cold environments. Front. Microbiol. 5 596

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Feller G 2013 Psychrophilic enzymes: from folding to function and biotechnology. Scientifica

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Feller G 2017 Cryosphere and psychrophiles: Insights into a cold origin of life? Life 7 25

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Feng S, Powell SM, Wilson R and Bowman JP 2014 Extensive gene acquisition in the extremely psychrophilic bacterial species Psychroflexus torquis and the link to sea-ice ecosystem specialism. Genome Biol. Evol. 6 133–148

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Finore I, Vigneron A, Vincent WF, Leone L, Di Donato P, et al. 2020 novel psychrophiles and exopolymers from permafrost thaw lake sediments. Microorganisms 8 1282

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Genilloud O 2018 Mining Actinomycetes for novel antibiotics in the omics era: Are we ready to exploit this new paradigm? Antibiotics 7 85

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Gholizadeh P, Köse S, Dao S, Ganbarov K, Tanomand A, et al. 2020 How CRISPR-Cas system could be used to combat antimicrobial resistance. Infect. Drug Resist. 13 1111–1121

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Gilbert JA, Davies PL and Laybourn-Parry J 2005 A hyperactive, Ca2+-dependent antifreeze protein in an antarctic bacterium. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 245 67–72

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goodfellow M and Fiedler HP 2010 A Guide to successful bioprospecting: informed by actinobacterial systematics. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 98 119–142

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gregson BH, Metodieva G, Metodiev MV, Golyshin PN and Mckew BA 2020 Protein expression in the obligate hydrocarbon-degrading psychrophile Oleispira antarctica RB-8 during alkane degradation and cold tolerance. Environ. Microbiol. 22 1870–1883

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Hohmann C, Schneider K, Bruntner C, Irran E, Nicholson G, et al. 2009 Caboxamycin, a new antibiotic of the benzoxazole family produced by the deep-sea strain Streptomyces sp. NTK 937. J. Antibiot. 62 99–104

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Huang KJ, Lin SH, Lin MR, Ku H, Szkaradek N, et al. 2013 Xanthone derivatives could be potential antibiotics: virtual screening for the inhibitors of Enzyme I of bacterial phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system. J. Antibiot. 66 453–458

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Huston AL, Methe B and Deming JD 2004 Purification, characterization, and sequencing of an extracellular cold-active aminopeptidase produced by marine psychrophile Colwellia psychrerythraea strain 34H. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70 3321–2228

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Jiang ZD, Jensen PR and Fenical W 1999 Lobophorins A and B, New antiinflammatory macrolides produced by a tropical marine bacterium. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 9 2003–2006

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • John MS, Nagoth JA, Ramasamy KP, Mancini A, Giuli G, et al. 2020b Synthesis of bioactive silver nanoparticles by a Pseudomonas strain associated with the Antarctic psychrophilic protozoon Euplotes focardii. Mar. Drugs 18 38

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • John MS, Nagoth JA, Ramasamy KP, Ballarini P, Mozzicafreddo M, et al. 2020a Horizontal gene transfer and silver nanoparticles production in a new Marinomonas strain isolated from the Antarctic psychrophilic ciliate Euplotes focardii. Sci. Rep. 10 1–14

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jung W, Kim EJ, Han SJ, Choi HG and Kim S 2016 Characterization of stearoyl-CoA desaturases from a psychrophilic Antarctic Copepod, Tigriopus kingsejongensis. Mar. Biotechnol. 18 564–574

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jia Z and Davies PL 2002 Antifreeze proteins: an unusual receptor–ligand interaction. Trends Biocem. Sci. 27 101–106

  • Kawamoto J, Kurihara T, Kitagawa M, Kato I and Esaki N 2007 Proteomic studies of an Antarctic cold-adapted bacterium, Shewanella livingstonensis Ac10, for global identification of cold-inducible proteins. Extremophiles 11 819–826

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kirti K, Amita S, Priti S, Mukesh Kumar A, and Jyoti S 2014 Colorful world of microbes: carotenoids and their applications. Adv. Biol., Article ID 837891

  • Krembs C, Eicken H, Junge K and Deming JW 2002 High Concentrations of exopolymeric substances in arctic winter sea ice: implications for the polar ocean carbon cycle and cryoprotection of diatoms. Deep Sea Res. Part I Oceanogr. Res. Papers 49 2163–2181

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kumar S, Ghosh M, Pulicherla KK and Rao S 2014 Cold active enzymes from the marine psychrophiles: biotechnological perspective. Advanced Biotechnol. 10 16–20

    Google Scholar 

  • Li L and Kato C 1999 Microbial Diversity in the Sediments Collected from Cold-Seep Areas and from Different Depths of the Deep-Sea; in Extremophiles in Deep-Sea Environments (eds) Horikoshi K and Tsujii K (Tokyo: Springer) 55–88

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Liu Q, Liu HC, Zhou YG and Xin YH 2019 Microevolution and Adaptive strategy of psychrophilic species Flavobacterium bomense sp. Nov. isolated from glaciers. Front. Microbiol. 10 1069

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Liu Y, Shen L, Zeng Y, Xing T, Xu B and Wang N 2020 Genomic insights of Cryobacterium isolated from ice core reveal genome dynamics for adaptation in glacier. Front. Microbiol. 11 1530

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Lo Giudice A, Bruni V and Michaud L 2007 Characterization of Antarctic psychrotrophic bacteria with antibacterial activities against terrestrial microorganisms. J. Basic Microbiol. 47 496–505

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • María OAJ, Miguel SCJ, Fabiola GA, Elizabeth GD, Araceli RC, et al. 2016 Fatal Psychrobacter Sp. infection in a pediatric patient with meningitis identified by metagenomic next-generation sequencing in cerebrospinal fluid. Arch. Microbiol. 198 129–135

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Merino N, Aronson HS, Bojanova DP, Feyhl-Buska J, Wong ML, et al. 2019 Living at the extremes: extremophiles and the limits of life in a planetary context. Front. Microbiol. 10 780

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Morita RY 1975 Psychrophilic bacteria. Bacteriol. Rev. 39 144–167

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Mykytczuk NCS, Foote SJ, Omelon CR, Southam G, Greer CW and Whyte LG 2013 Bacterial growth at −15°C; molecular insights from the permafrost bacterium Planococcus halocryophilus Or1. J. ISME J. 7 1211–1226

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nichols CAM, Guezennec J and Bowman JP 2005 Bacterial exopolysaccharides from extreme marine environments with special consideration of the southern ocean, sea ice, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents: a review. Mar. Biotechnol. 7 253–271

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nogi Y 2017 Microbial Life in the Deep Sea: Psychropiezophiles; in Psychrophiles: From Biodiversity to Biotechnology (2) (ed) Margesin R (Cham: Springer) 133–152

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Ogata K, Yoshida N, Ohsugi M and Tani Y 1971 Studies on antibiotics produced by psychrophilic microorganisms: part i. production of antibiotics by a psychrophile, Streptomyces sp. No. 81. Agiec. Biol. Chem. 35 79–85

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Okuyama H, Orikasa Y and Nishida T 2008 Significance of antioxidative functions of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in marine microorganisms. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74 570–574

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Orellana R, Macaya C, Bravo G, Dorochesi F, Cumsille A, et al. 2018 Living at the frontiers of life: extremophiles in chile and their potential for bioremediation. Front. Microbiol. 9 2309

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Pandey KD, Shukla SP, Giri DD, Shukla PN, Singh JS, et al. 2004 Cyanobacteria in Antarctica: ecology, physiology and cold adaptation. Mol. Cell. Biol. 50 575–584

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pandey N, Jain R, Pandey A and Tamta S 2018 Optimisation and characterisation of the orange pigment produced by a cold adapted strain of Penicillium sp. (GBPI_P155) isolated from mountain ecosystem. Mycology 9 81–92

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Park SH, Lee CW, Lee SG, Shin SC, Kim HJ, et al. 2017 Crystal structure and functional characterization of an isoaspartyl dipeptidase (Cps IadA) from Colwellia psychrerythraea Strain 34H. Plos ONE 12 e0181705

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Phadtare S 2004 Recent developments in bacterial cold-shock response. Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 6 125–136

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Phelan RW, Barret M, Cotter PD, O’Connor PM, Chen R, et al. 2013 Subtilomycin: A new lantibiotic from Bacillus subtilis strain MMA7 isolated from the marine sponge Haliclona simulans. Mar. Drugs 11 1878–1898

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Piette F, Leprince P and Feller G 2012 Is There a cold shock response in the Antarctic psychrophile Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis? Extremophiles 16 681–683

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Pummer BG, Budke C, Augustin-Bauditz S, Niedermeier D, Felgitsch L and Kampf CJ 2015 ice nucleation by water-soluble macromolecules. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 15 4077–4091

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rassner SME 2017 Viruses in Glacial Environments; in Psychrophiles: From Biodiversity to Biotechnology (2) (ed) Margesin R (Cham: Springer) 111–131

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Remias D, Lütz-meindl U, Lütz C, Remias D and Lu U 2005 Photosynthesis, pigments and ultrastructure of the Alpine snow alga Chlamydomonas nivalis. Eur. J. Phycol. 40 259–268

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rong JC, Liu Y, Yu S, Xi L, Chi NY and Zhang QF 2020 Complete genome sequence of Paenisporosarcina antarctica CGMCC 1.6503T, a marine psychrophilic bacterium isolated from Antarctica. Mar. Genomics 49 100690

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sanchez LA, Hedström M, Delgado MA and Delgado OD 2010 Production, purification and characterization of serraticin a, a novel cold-active antimicrobial produced by Serratia proteamaculans 136. J. Appl. Microbiol. 109 936–945

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stonik VA, Makarieva TN and Shubina LK 2020 Antibiotics from marine bacteria. Biochemistry 85 1362–1373

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tajima T, Fuki K, Kataoka N, Kudou D, Nakashimada Y and Kato J 2013 Construction of a simple biocatalyst using psychrophilic bacterial cells and its application for efficient 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde production from glycerol. AMB Express 3 69

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Turchetti B, Marconi G, Sannino C, Buzzini P and Albertini E 2020 dna methylation changes induced by cold in psychrophilic and psychrotolerant Naganishia yeast species. Microorganisms 8 296

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Vishniac HS, and Klinger J 1986 Yeasts in the Antarctic Deserts. Perspectives in Microbial Ecology. Proceedings of the 4th ISME, Slovene Society for Microbiology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 46–51

  • Voets IK 2017 From ice-binding proteins to bio-inspired antifreeze materials. Soft Matter 13 4808–4823

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Vollmers J, Voget S, Dietrich S, Gollnow K, Smits M, et al. 2013 Poles apart: Arctic and Antarctic Octadecabacter strains share high genome plasticity and a new type of Xanthorhodopsin. PLOS ONE 8 e63422

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Yoshida K, Hashimoto M, Hori R, Adachi T, Okuyama H, et al. 2016 Bacterial long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: their biosynthetic genes, functions, and practical Use. Mar. Drugs 14 94

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yusof NA, Kamaruddin S, Bakar FDA, Mahadi NM and Murad AMA 2019 Structural and functional insights into TRiC chaperonin from a psychrophilic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica. Cell Stress Chaperones 24 351–368

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Zhao JS, Deng Y, Manno D and Hawari J 2010 Shewanella Spp. genomic evolution for a cold marine lifestyle and in-situ explosive biodegradation. PLOS ONE 5 e9109

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Suneel Dodamani.

Additional information

Corresponding editor: BJ Rao

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tendulkar, S., Hattiholi, A., Chavadar, M. et al. Psychrophiles: A journey of hope. J Biosci 46, 64 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12038-021-00180-4

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12038-021-00180-4

Keywords

Navigation