Piezophile

Piezophile

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A piezophile is an organism
Organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

 which thrives at high pressure
High pressure
High pressure in science and engineering is studying the effects of high pressure on materials and the design and construction of devices, such as a diamond anvil cell, which can create high pressure...

s, such as deep sea bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 or archaea
Archaea
The Archaea are a group of single-celled microorganisms. A single individual or species from this domain is called an archaeon...

. They are generally found on ocean floor
Seabed
The seabed is the bottom of the ocean.- Ocean structure :Most of the oceans have a common structure, created by common physical phenomena, mainly from tectonic movement, and sediment from various sources...

s, where pressure often exceeds 380 atm
Atmosphere (unit)
The standard atmosphere is an international reference pressure defined as 101325 Pa and formerly used as unit of pressure. For practical purposes it has been replaced by the bar which is 105 Pa...

 (38 MPa
Pascal (unit)
The pascal is the SI derived unit of pressure, internal pressure, stress, Young's modulus and tensile strength, named after the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and philosopher Blaise Pascal. It is a measure of force per unit area, defined as one newton per square metre...

). Some have been found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 where the maximum pressure is roughly 117 MPa. The high pressures experienced by these organisms can cause the normally fluid cell membrane
Cell membrane
The cell membrane or plasma membrane is a biological membrane that separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment. The cell membrane is selectively permeable to ions and organic molecules and controls the movement of substances in and out of cells. It basically protects the cell...

 to become waxy and relatively impermeable
Semipermeable membrane
A semipermeable membrane, also termed a selectively permeable membrane, a partially permeable membrane or a differentially permeable membrane, is a membrane that will allow certain molecules or ions to pass through it by diffusion and occasionally specialized "facilitated diffusion".The rate of...

 to nutrients. These organisms have adapted in novel ways to become tolerant of these pressures in order to colonize deep sea habitats. One example, xenophyophore
Xenophyophore
Xenophyophores are marine protozoa, giant single-celled organisms found throughout the world's oceans, at depths of up to 10,641 meters . Xenophyophores are found in the greatest numbers on the abyssal plains of the deep ocean. They were first described as sponges in 1889, then as testate...

s, have been found in the deepest ocean trench, 6.6 miles (10,541 meters) below the surface.

Barotolerant bacteria are able to survive at high pressures, but can exist in less extreme environments as well. Obligate barophiles cannot survive outside of such environments. For example, the Halomonas
Halomonas
Halomonas is a genus of halophilic Proteobacteria. It grows over the range of 5 to 25% NaClThe type species of this genus is Halomonas elongata,.-Etymology:...

 species Halomonas salaria
Halomonas salaria
Halomonas salaria is a gram-negative halophilic proteobacteria. It is an obligate piezophile, and requires pressures of 102 MPa to grow.It is a new species described in a paper by Kwang Kyu Kim, Long Jin, Hee Chan Yang and Sung-Taik Lee in 2007 as a moderately halophilic bacteria isolated from a...

requires a pressure of 1000 atm (100 MPa) and a temperature of 3 degrees
Degree (temperature)
The term degree is used in several scales of temperature. The symbol ° is usually used, followed by the initial letter of the unit, for example “°C” for degree Celsius...

 Celsius
Celsius
Celsius is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature. It is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius , who developed a similar temperature scale two years before his death...

. Most piezophiles grow in darkness and are usually very UV-sensitive; they lack many mechanisms of DNA repair.