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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2005 Jun 1;53(1):103-15. Epub 2005 Jan 11.

Characterization of potential stress responses in ancient Siberian permafrost psychroactive bacteria.

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1
Center for Genomic and Evolutionary Studies on Microbial Life at Low Temperatures, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA.

Abstract

Past studies of cold-acclimated bacteria have focused primarily on organisms not capable of sub-zero growth. Siberian permafrost isolates Exiguobacterium sp. 255-15 and Psychrobacter sp. 273-4, which grow at subzero temperatures, were used to study cold-acclimated physiology. Changes in membrane composition and exopolysaccharides were defined as a function of growth at 24, 4 and -2.5 degrees C in the presence and absence of 5% NaCl. As expected, there was a decrease in fatty acid saturation and chain length at the colder temperatures and a further decrease in the degree of saturation at higher osmolarity. A shift in carbon source utilization and antibiotic resistance occurred at 4 versus 24 degrees C growth, perhaps due to changes in the membrane transport. Some carbon substrates were used uniquely at 4 degrees C and, in general, increased antibiotic sensitivity was observed at 4 degrees C. All the permafrost strains tested were resistant to long-term freezing (1 year) and were not particularly unique in their UVC tolerance. Most of the tested isolates had moderate ice nucleation activity, and particularly interesting was the fact that the Gram-positive Exiguobacterium showed some soluble ice nucleation activity. In general the features measured suggest that the Siberian organisms have adapted to the conditions of long-term freezing at least for the temperatures of the Kolyma region which are -10 to -12 degrees C where intracellular water is likely not frozen.

PMID:
16329933
DOI:
10.1016/j.femsec.2004.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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