Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Hot Spring Microbiology

  • Felipe Gomez
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_74-2


Hot spring microbiology refers to the study of microorganisms associated with hot springs. Hot springs are characterized by hydrothermal systems that constantly release geothermal gases and fluids from the subsurface due to water sources in contact with shallow magma formations. Many hot springs have temperatures at or near boiling point; thus, microorganisms from these environments are hyperthermophilic or thermophilic and phylogenetically very diverse, including archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Water chemistry and pH can vary dramatically in these environments. Methanogens that belong to the Archaea group and grow at temperature between 80 and 90 °C are present in these systems. Cyanobacteria are often the dominant or sole photosynthetic organisms present in hot springs. Species of Thermotogacapable of growing at 90 °C have been isolated in hot springs and marine hydrothermal vents. Thermophilic Crenarchaeota have been isolated from hot, sulfur-rich solfataras, and some...


Bioorganic Chemistry Water Source Water Chemistry Boiling Point Hydrothermal System 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC/INTA)Instituto Nacional de Técnica AeroespacialMadridSpain