Adaptation to low temperature and regulation of gene expression in antarctic psychrotrophic bacteria

Malay K. Ray, G. Seshu Kumar, Kamala Janiyani, K. Kannan, Pratik Jagtap, Malay K. Basu, S. Shivaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to extremes of temperatures cause stresses which are sometimes lethal to living cells. Microorganisms in nature, however, are extremely diverse and some of them can live happily in the freezing cold of Antarctica. Among the cold adapted psychrotrophs and psychrophiles, the psychrotrophic bacteria are the predominant forms in the continental Antarctica. In spite of living in permanently cold area, the antarctic bacteria exhibit, similar to mesophiles, 'cold-shock' response albeit at a much lower temperatures, e.g., at 0-5°C. However, because of permanently cold condition and the long isolation of the continent, the microorganisms have acquired new adaptive features in the membranes, enzymes and macromolecular synthesis. Only recently these adaptive modifications are coming into light due to the efforts of various laboratories around the world. However, a lot more is known about adaptive response to low temperature in mesophilic bacteria than in antarctic bacteria. Combined knowledge from the two systems is providing useful clues to the understanding of basic biology of low temperature growing organisms. This article will provide an overview of this area of research with a special reference to sensing of temperature and regulation of gene expression at lower temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-435
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biosciences
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Antarctic bacteria
  • Cold adaptation
  • Cold induced gene expression
  • Cold-shock proteins
  • Temperature sensing

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