Thermophilic Extreme Acidophiles

Members of two genera, Thermoplasma and Picrophilus, are notable for their preference of growing in extremely acidic, hot environments. Thermoplasma species grow optimally at pH 2; in fact, T. acidophilum lyses at neutral pH. It was originally isolated from coal refuse piles. Picrophilus species tolerate conditions that are even more acidic, growing optimally at a pH below 1. Two species have been isolated in Japan from acidic areas in regions that exude sulfurous gases.

Figure 11.32 Typical Habitat of Sulfolobus Sulfur hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

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