Unique Microorganisms Inhabit Extreme Soils

  • Maria-Guadalupe Sánchez-Otero
  • Rodolfo Quintana-Castro
  • Jorge Guillermo Domínguez-Chávez
  • Carolina Peña-Montes
  • Rosa María Oliart-RosEmail author
Part of the Microorganisms for Sustainability book series (MICRO, volume 16)


Natural extreme soils are widely distributed on the Earth in all types of ecosystems; the permafrost, the cold soils of the poles, the dry sands of the deserts, the saline soils of marshes, the hot areas associated to volcanoes and hot springs, acidic solfatara fields, soda lakes, hydrothermal marine vents, or mud pots are the habitat of extraordinary organisms, capable to withstand the harsh physicochemical conditions that prevail in those extreme environments, namely, high or low temperatures, acidic or alkaline pH, high salt concentration, and the presence of heavy metals, among others. Those organisms are named extremophiles and constitute a potential and promising source of biomolecules such as polymers, antibiotics, and enzymes; the latter are called extremozymes and are able to perform their natural activity and other interesting reactions under industrial process conditions. Due to their endurance, biomolecules produced by extremophiles are also potential candidates to be used in soil bioremediation.


Extremophiles Extremozymes Oil degradation Waste treatment Extreme soils 



We thank Manuel Juárez-Arias for his help schematizing the geographical location of the main extreme environments in the world; we also thank Francisco Romero Ríos for kindly providing the picture of Guerrero Negro Salt Marches in Baja California Sur, México.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Guadalupe Sánchez-Otero
    • 1
  • Rodolfo Quintana-Castro
    • 1
  • Jorge Guillermo Domínguez-Chávez
    • 1
  • Carolina Peña-Montes
    • 2
  • Rosa María Oliart-Ros
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Facultad de BioanálisisUniversidad VeracruzanaVeracruzMéxico
  2. 2.Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Alimentos, Tecnológico Nacional de México/Instituto Tecnológico de VeracruzVeracruzMéxico

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