High-Pressure Microbiology

Editors: Chris Michiels1, Douglas H. Bartlett2, Abram Aersten3
Affiliations: 1: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 2: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California; 3: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Hardcover
Publication Year: 2008

Category: Applied and Industrial Microbiology

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A landmark volume covering the exciting new knowledge on the effects of high pressure on microorganisms

Pressure, like temperature, is a fundamental influence on all chemical and biochemical reactions, including those in living cells. Surprisingly, little has been published on the effects of pressure on microorganisms. This volume corrects this major oversight by bringing together the latest understanding of high-pressure microbiology.

To thrive under high pressure in the deep sea or terrestrial subsurface, microorganisms have evolved specific and unique adaptations. On the other hand, extreme pressure rapidly kills microorganisms, and pressurization is emerging as a promising technique for food preservation. Understanding the mechanisms behind microbial high pressure adaptation and inactivation provides insights into the most fundamental properties of living systems as compared to nonliving ones. Ranging from proteins and membranes to vegetative bacteria, bacterial spores and yeast, this landmark volume explains the variety of effects of and adaptations to high pressure in microorganisms.

While this book summarizes the major findings in this field, it stimulates a cross-fertilization between the piezophile and the nonpiezophile high-pressure research fields. This goal is reflected in the book’s organization and content. With 18 chapters, the book covers a range of issues related to high-pressure microbiology with a firm emphasis on microbial physiology. The book moves from basic science to practical applications, explaining topics such as thermodynamic principles, piezophilic microorganisms, food preservation, nonpiezophilic microorganisms, and deep-biosphere and deep-sea microorganisms.

This important volume will be crucial not only to microbiologists researching high pressure but also to those interested in microbial stress responses, microbial physiology, and extreme environments.

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