Four kingdoms on glacier ice: Convergent energetic processes boost energy levels as temperatures fall

Michael J. Napolitano, Daniel H. Shain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

A diverse group of glacially obligate organisms coexist on temperate glaciers between Washington State and Alaska. A fundamental challenge for these and other cold-adapted species is the necessity to maintain an energy flux capable of sustaining life at low physiological temperatures. We show here that ice-adapted psychrophiles from four kingdoms (Animalia, Eubacteria, Fungi, Protista) respond to temperature fluctuations in a similar manner; namely, ATP levels and the total adenylate pool increase as temperatures fall (within their viable temperature limits, respectively), yet growth rate increases with temperature. By contrast, mesophilic representatives of each kingdom respond in an opposite manner (i.e. adenylates increase with temperature). These observations suggest that elevated adenylate levels in psychrophiles may offset inherent reductions in molecular diffusion at low physiological temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S273-S276
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume271
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • ATP
  • Adaptation
  • Convergent evolution
  • Ice worm
  • Psychrophile

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