Dictionary > Psychrophile

Psychrophile

Definition
noun, plural: psychrophiles
An organism that thrives in cold temperatures, i.e. ranging from −20 °C to +10 °C
Supplement
A psychrophile is an organism that is capable of living and thriving in temperatures ranging from −20 °C to +10 °C. The term is often used in classifying microorganisms based on their optimal temperature. Bacteria can be grouped into thermophiles, mesophiles, and psychrophiles. Thermophiles are those that prefer temperature as high as 80°C and above. Mesophiles are those that prefer moderate temperatures, i.e. 20 and 45 °C, which are not too hot and not too cold. Psychrophiles are those that prefer colder temperature for growth and activity. The differing temperature requirement for growth and survival is associated with the expression of genetic elements (alleles) resulting in a phenotype (enzyme) suited to a particular range of temperature. This was observed in a recent study on mesophilic and psychrophilic bacteria. Accordingly, modification of genetic elements in mesophilic bacteria resulted in the changing of their temperature range to closely match that of the psychrophilic bacteria.1
Psychrophiles are considered as a type of extremophiles. They are found inhabiting the alpine and arctic soils, deep ocean waters, glaciers, snowfields, etc.
Word origin: psychro- (cold) + -phile (love)
Synonym(s):

  • cryophiles

Compare:

  • thermophile
  • mesophile
  • See also:

    Reference(s):

    1 Pankowski, J. A., Puckett, S. M., & Nano, F. E. (15 March 2016). “Temperature Sensitivity Conferred by ligA Alleles from Psychrophilic Bacteria upon Substitution in Mesophilic Bacteria and a Yeast Species”. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 82 (6): 1924–1932.


    You will also like...

    Young plant growing from the soil.
    Soils

    Nutrients in the soil are essential to the proper growth of a land plant. This tutorial deals with the properties of soi..

    A sperm cell fertilizing an ovum
    Human Reproduction and Fertilization

    For human species to obviate extinction, reproductive mature adults should be producing viable offspring in order to con..

    Adaptation Tutorial
    Adaptation Tutorial

    Adaptation, in biology and ecology, refers to the process or trait through which organisms or the populations in a habit..

    dinosaurs
    The Dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs represented a major turn in the evolutionary development of organisms on Earth. The first dinosaurs were presu..

    Plant Auxins
    Plant Auxins – Phototropism & Geotropism

    Plants produce hormones to regulate their growth. Auxins, for instance, influence plant growth. Know the role of auxin i..

    Human Nervous System
    The Human Nervous System

    The nervous system is essentially a biological information highway. This tutorial gives an overview of the nervous syste..