Ferroplasma

Ferroplasma

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In taxonomy
Alpha taxonomy
Alpha taxonomy is the discipline concerned with finding, describing and naming species of living or fossil organisms. This field is supported by institutions holding collections of these organisms, with relevant data, carefully curated: such institutes include natural history museums, herbaria and...

, Ferroplasma is a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of the Ferroplasmaceae
Ferroplasmaceae
In taxonomy, the Ferroplasmaceae are a family of the Thermoplasmatales.-External links:...

.

The genus Ferroplasma consists solely of F. acidophilum, an acidophilic
Acidophile
Acidophile may refer to:* Acidophile * Acidophile...

 iron-oxidizing member of the Euryarchaeota
Euryarchaeota
In the taxonomy of microorganisms, the Euryarchaeota are a phylum of the Archaea.The Euryarchaeota include the methanogens, which produce methane and are often found in intestines, the halobacteria, which survive extreme concentrations of salt, and some extremely thermophilic aerobes and anaerobes...

. Unlike other members of the Thermoplasmata
Thermoplasmata
In taxonomy, the Thermoplasmata are a class of the Euryarchaeota.All are acidophiles, growing optimally at pH below 2. Picrophilus is currently the most acidophilic of all known organisms growing at a minimum pH of 0.06. Many of these organisms do not contain a cell wall, although this is not true...

 F.acidophilum is a mesophile
Mesophile
A mesophile is an organism that grows best in moderate temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, typically between 25 and 40 °C...

 with a temperature optimum of approximately 35°C, at which grows optimally at pH of 1.7. F. acidophilum is generally found in acidic mine tailings, primarily those containing pyrite
Pyrite
The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide with the formula FeS2. This mineral's metallic luster and pale-to-normal, brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold because of its resemblance to gold...

 (FeS). It is especially abundant in cases of severe acid mine drainage
Acid mine drainage
Acid mine drainage , or acid rock drainage , refers to the outflow of acidic water from metal mines or coal mines. However, other areas where the earth has been disturbed may also contribute acid rock drainage to the environment...

, where other organisms such as Acidithiobacillus
Acidithiobacillus
Acidithiobacillus is a genus of Proteobacteria. Like all Proteobacteria, Acidithiobacillus is Gram-negative. The members of this genus used to belong to Thiobacillus, before they were reclassified in the year 2000....

and Leptospirillum have lowered the pH of the environment such that the obligately acidophilic
Acidophile
Acidophile may refer to:* Acidophile * Acidophile...

 F. acidophilum is allowed to flourish. Physiologically, F. acidophilum obtains energy by oxidation of the ferrous
Ferrous
Ferrous , in chemistry, indicates a divalent iron compound , as opposed to ferric, which indicates a trivalent iron compound ....

 iron in the pyrite
Pyrite
The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide with the formula FeS2. This mineral's metallic luster and pale-to-normal, brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold because of its resemblance to gold...

 using oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 as a terminal electron acceptor. This process produces sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid with the molecular formula . Its historical name is oil of vitriol. Pure sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive, colorless, viscous liquid. The salts of sulfuric acid are called sulfates...

 as a by-product which leads to further acidification of its environment. F. acidophilum is an autotroph
Autotroph
An autotroph, or producer, is an organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules using energy from light or inorganic chemical reactions . They are the producers in a food chain, such as plants on land or algae in water...

 and, like Thermoplasma
Thermoplasma
In taxonomy, Thermoplasma is a genus of the Thermoplasmataceae.Thermoplasma is a genus of archaea. It belongs to the Thermoplasmata, which thrive in acidic and high-temperature environments. Thermoplasma are facultative anaerobes and respire using sulfur and organic carbon...

does not contain a cell wall.

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