New Species Thrives In Extremely High Temperature And Pressure

By | May 13, 2009

A new species of archaebacteria, Pyrococcus CH1, thriving within a temperature range of 80 to 105°C and able to divide itself up to a hydrostatic pressure of 120 Mpa (1000 times higher than the atmospheric pression), has just been discovered.

This discovery was made by the microbiologists of the Microbiology of Extreme Environments Laboratory (Joint Research Unit between the CNRS, Ifremer and University of Western Brittany UBO), in partnership with the Institute of Oceanography of Xiamen (China) and the Earth Science Laboratory (JRU CNRS, ENS Lyon and University of Lyon). This archaebacteria had been isolated from samples of the “Serpentine” (1) cruise, during which a Franco-Russian team has explored the mid-Atlantic ridge for six weeks in order to discover new hydrothermal vents.

The scientific paper about this discovery is published in The ISME Journal (May issue).

IMAGE: Black smoker at a mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal vent. (Credit: OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP); NOAA)

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